(20 August 1881 - 5 August 1959 / Birmingham / England)

Pleasing Dad

When I was but a little lad, not more than two or three,
I noticed in a general way my dad was proud of me.
He liked the little ways I had, the simple things I said;
Sometimes he gave me words of praise, sometimes he stroked my head;
And when I'd done a thing worth while, the thought that made me glad
Was always that I'd done my best, and that would please my dad.

I can look back to-day and see how proud he used to be
When I'd come home from school and say they'd recommended me.
I didn't understand it then, for school boys never do,
But in a vague and general way it seems to me I knew
That father took great pride in me, and wanted me to shine,
And that it meant a lot to him when I'd done something fine.

Then one day out of school I went, amid the great world's hum,
An office boy, and father watched each night to see me come.
And I recall how proud he was of me that wondrous day
When I could tell him that, unasked, the firm had raised my pay.
I still can feel that hug he gave, I understand the joy
It meant to him to learn that men were trusting in his boy.

I wonder will it please my dad? How oft the thought occurs
When I am stumbling on the paths, beset with briars and burrs!
He isn't here to see me now, alone my race I run,
And yet some day I'll go to him and tell him all I've done.
And oh I pray that when we meet beyond life's stormy sea
That he may claim the old-time joy of being proud of me.

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