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

Pretending Not To See

Sometimes at the table, when
He gets misbehavin', then
Mother calls across to me:
'Look at him, now! Don't you see
What he's doin', sprawlin.' there!
Make him sit up in his chair.
Don't you see the messy way
That he's eating?' An' I say:
'No. He seems all right just now.
What's he doing anyhow?'

Mother placed him there by me,
An' she thinks I ought to see
Every time he breaks the laws
An' correct him, just because
There will come a time some day
When he mustn't act that way.
But I can't be all along
Scoldin' him for doin' wrong.
So if something goes astray,
I jus' look the other way.

Mother tells me now an' then
I'm the easiest o' men,
An' in dealin' with the lad
I will never see the bad
That he does, an' I suppose
Mother's right for Mother knows;
But I'd hate to feel that I'm
Here to scold him all the time.
Little faults might spoil the day,
So I look the other way.

Look the other way an' try
Not to let him catch my eye,
Knowin' all the time that he
Doesn't mean so bad to be;
Knowin', too, that now an' then
I am not the best o' men;
Hopin', too, the times I fall
That the Father of us all,
Lovin', watchin' over me,
Will pretend He doesn't see.

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