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Poem by Ella Wheeler Wilcox


He never made a fortune, or a noise
In the world where men are seeking after fame; 
But he had a healthy brood of girls and boys
Who loved the very ground on which he trod.
They thought him just little short of God; 
Oh you should have heard the way they said his name 

There seemed to be a loving little prayer
In their voices, even when they called him Dad.
Though the man was never heard of anywhere, 
As a hero, yet somehow understood
He was doing well his part and making good; 
And you knew it, by the way his children had
Of saying Father.

He gave them neither eminence nor wealth, 
But he gave them blood untainted with a vice, 
And opulence of undiluted health.
He was honest, and unpurchable and kind; 
He was clean in heart, and body, and in mind.
So he made them heirs to riches without price 
This father.

He never preached or scolded; and the rod 
Well, he used it as a turning pole in play.
But he showed the tender sympathy of God.
To his children in their troubles, and their joys.
He was always chum and comrade with his boys, 
And his daughters  oh, you ought to hear them say

Now I think of all achievements tis the least
To perpetuate the species; it is done
By the insect and the serpent, and the beast.
But the man who keeps his body, and his thought, 
Worth bestowing on an offspring love-begot, 
Then the highest earthly glory he was won, 
When in pride a grown-up daughter or a son
Says Thats Father.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Ella Wheeler Wilcox's other poems:
  1. The Birth of the Opal
  2. But a Dream
  3. The Awakening (I love the tropics, where sun and rain)
  4. The Breaking of Chains
  5. The Chain

Poems of the other poets with the same name:

  • Edgar Guest Father ("My father knows the proper way")

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