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FATHERHOOD, by                     Poet's Biography
First Line: A kiss, a word of thanks, away
Last Line: Though he spread out his hands all day?
Subject(s): Fathers

A KISS, a word of thanks, away
They're gone, and you forsaken learn
The blessedness of giving; they
(So Nature bids) forget, nor turn
To where you sit, and watch, and yearn.

And you (so Nature bids) would go
Through fire and water for their sake;
Rise early, late take rest, to sow
Their wealth, and lie all night awake
If but their little finger ache.

The storied prince with wondrous hair
Which stole men's hearts and wrought his bale,
Rebelling, since he had no heir,
Built him a pillar in the vale,
-- Absalom's -- lest his name should fail.

It fails not, though the pillar lies
In dust, because the outraged one,
His father, with strong agonies
Cried it until the day was done --
"O Absalom, my son, my son!"

So Nature bade; or might it be
God, who in Jewry once (they say)
Cried with a great cry, "Come to me,
Children," who still held on their way,
Though He spread out His hands all day?

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