Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, A CHILD TO HIS SICK GRANDFATHER, by JOANNA BAILLIE

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

A CHILD TO HIS SICK GRANDFATHER, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Grand-dad, they say you're old and frail
Last Line: You do not hear me, dad.
Subject(s): Grandparents; Sickness; Grandmothers; Grandfathers; Great Grandfathers; Great Grandmothers; Illness

GRAND-DAD, they say you're old and frail,
Your stocked legs begin to fail:
Your knobbed stick (that was my horse)
Can scarce support your bended corse;
While back to wall you lean so sad,
I'm vexed to see you, dad.

You used to smile and stroke my head,
And tell me how good children did;
But now, I wot not how it be,
You take me seldom on your knee;
Yet ne'ertheless I am right glad
To sit beside you, dad.

How lank and thin your beard hangs down!
Scant are the white hairs on your crown;
How wan and hollow are your cheeks!
Your brow is rough with crossing breaks;
But yet, for all his strength is fled,
I love my own old dad.

The housewives round their potions brew,
And gossips come to ask for you:
And for your weal each neighbour cares,
And good men kneel, and say their pray'rs:
And ev'rybody looks so sad,
When you are ailing, dad.

You will not die, and leave us then?
Rouse up and be our dad again.
When you are quiet and laid in bed,
We'll doff our shoes and softly tread:
And when you wake we'll aye be near,
To fill old dad his cheer.

When through the house you shift your stand,
I'll lead you kindly by the hand;
When dinner's set, I'll with you bide,
And aye be serving by your side;
And when the weary fire burns blue,
I'll sit and talk with you.

I have a tale both long and good,
About a partlet and her brood;
And cunning greedy fox that stole,
By dead of midnight, through a hole,
Which slyly to the hen-roost led --
You love a story, dad?

And then I have a wond'rous tale
Of men all clad in coats of mail,
With glitt'ring swords -- you nod, I think?
Your fixed eyes begin to wink;
Down on your bosom sinks your head;
You do not hear me, dad.

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