The Change-Worker By Edgar Albert Guest

The Change-Worker

A feller don’t start in to think of himself, an’
the part that he’s playin’ down here,
When there’s nobody lookin’ to him fer support,
an’ he don’t give a thought to next year.
His faults don’t seem big an’ his habits no worse
than a whole lot of others he knows,
An’ he don’t seem to care what his neighbors may
say, as heedlessly forward he goes.
He don’t stop to think if it’s wrong or it’s right;
with his speech he is careless or glib,
Till the minute the nurse lets him into the room
to see what’s asleep in the crib.

An’ then as he looks at that bundle o’ red, an’ the
wee little fingers an’ toes,
An’ he knows it’s his flesh an’ his blood that is there,
an’ will be just like him when it grows,
It comes in a flash to a feller right then, there is
more here than pleasure or pelf,
An’ the sort of a man his baby will be is the sort
of a man he’s himself.
Then he kisses the mother an’ kisses the child, an’
goes out determined that he
Will endeavor to be just the sort of a man that
he’s wantin’ his baby to be.

A feller don’t think that it matters so much what
he does till a baby arrives;
He sows his wild oats an’ he has his gay fling an’
headlong in pleasure he dives;
An’ a drink more or less doesn’t matter much
then, for life is a comedy gay,
But the moment a crib is put in the home, an’ a
baby has come there to stay,
He thinks of the things he has done in the past,
an’ it strikes him as hard as a blow,
That the path he has trod in the past is a path
that he don’t want his baby to go.

I ain’t much to preach, an’ I can’t just express
in the way that your clever men can
The thoughts that I think, but it seems to me now
that when God wants to rescue a man
From himself an’ the follies that harmless appear,
but which, under the surface, are grim,
He summons the angel of infancy sweet, an’ sends
down a baby to him.
For in that way He opens his eyes to himself, and
He gives him the vision to see
That his duty’s to be just the sort of a man that
he’s wantin’ his baby to be.

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