Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, TO MY FATHER, by CHARLES V. H. ROBERTS



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TO MY FATHER, by            
First Line: I kneel, my father, here beside thy grave
Last Line: Where thou my father with the angels art.
Subject(s): Angels; Death; Fathers; Graves; Heaven; Veterans Day; Dead, The; Tombs; Tombstones; Paradise


I kneel, my father, here beside thy grave
Of tender careless myrtle, grown
In the setting suns of five and twenty years
Now past forevermore, from this sad earth;
My mind still full of thee, therefore still noble.

Could words express the story I've to tell thee
Of this my life, or what I've left to live?
Shut not thy soul against thy son's appeal,
When all this world to-day cries out so loud;
But as thou art my godlike father still,
And wouldst have me come to a life as thine—
Listen with tender fondness on my sorrows:
Then from those eyes that I did worship so,
Let fall some tears of pity and of love,
Wounded a little, by the sufferings I relate—
Of unregarded oaths and trusts so broken
In lies, hypocrisies, and frailties
Of womanhood—its rotting weeds and broken boughs,
Though sacraments and faithfulness were pledged;
The blind progression and reverse result
On this vile earth of war,—the petty jangling
For everlasting fames and shameless prides.

Life, ask life—'tis wretchedness and poverty
To breathe e'en for a few years longer here!
Thou who wert so faithful, generous, valiant,
Just look upon me with thine eyes of mercy,
Although they ache with gazing here from
Heaven—
And tell me, tell me, in surety the truth!
There are no days accursed as these apart,
Where thou my father with the angels art.





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