Temptation By Edgar Albert Guest

Temptation

I WOULD like to wed your daughter,’ said the multi-millionaire,
‘I will try to make her happy; if I don’t you needn’t care;
She shall have five million dollars just the minute we are married;
Say the word and I will take her’—but the maiden’s father tarried.

‘Every luxury I’ll give her, she shall dress in finest raiment
And the moment we are married I shall make the wedding payment;
She’ll be worth five million dollars when the wedding vows are said,
Will you say that it’s a bargain?’—but the father hung his head.

‘It is true I’m almost fifty and your daughter’s scarce eighteen.
But she’ll live a life of splendor, she shall be a social queen;
She shall dine with kings and princes and by royalty be favored,
And she’ll have five million dollars’—here the tempted father wavered.

Oh! I would that I could write it, that before the father’s eyes
Came the picture of the baby that he’d learned to idolize;
Came his little girl at evening for a romp upon his knee,
Came the little roguish lassie of the days that used to be.

Had there come that very moment when he saw the rich man’s check
Just a vision of his baby with her arms about his neck;
Had his eyes turned back one minute to the days of long ago,
Then he never would have wavered—he’d have fairly shouted: ‘No.’

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