The Father Of The Man By Edgar Albert Guest

The Father Of The Man

I can’t help thinkin’ o’ the lad!
Here’s summer bringin’ trees to fruit,
An’ every bush with roses clad,
An’ nature in her finest suit,
An’ all things as they used to be
In days before the war came on.
Yet time has changed both him an’ me,
An’ I am here, but he is gone.

The orchard’s as it was back then
When he was just a little tyke;
The lake’s as calm an’ fair as when
We used to go to fish for pike.
There’s nothing different I can see
That God has made about the place,
Except the change in him an’ me,
An’ that is difficult to trace.

I only know one day he came
An’ found me in the barn alone.
To some he might have looked the same,
But he was not the lad I’d known.
His soul, it seemed, had heard the call
As plainly as a mortal can.
Before he spoke to me at all,
I saw my boy become a man.

I can’t explain just what occurred;
I sat an’ talked about it there;
The dinner-bell I never heard,
Or if I did, I didn’t care.
But suddenly it seemed to me
Out of the dark there came a light,
An’ in a new way I could see
That I was wrong an’ he was right.

I can’t help thinkin’ o’ the lad!
He’s fightin’ hate an’ greed an’ lust,
An’ here am I, his doting dad,
Believin’ in a purpose just.
Time was I talked the joy o’ play,
But now life’s goal is all I see;
The petty thoughts I’ve put away-
My boy has made a man o’ me.

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