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Grandpa Poems

Table of Contents

  1. On Grandpapa's Knee by T.W. Handford
  2. Grandfather's Chair by Matthias Barr
  3. Grandpa And I by William Henry Dawson
  4. Grandfather's Clock by Henry C. Work
  5. Golden Hair by F. Burge Smith
  6. The Grandfather by Charles G. Eastman
  7. Grandpapapa's Spectacles by Elizabeth Sill
  8. The Veteran and the Child by Hannah Flagg Gould

  1. On Grandpapa's Knee

    The dearest place
    To nestle in,
    Is on grandpapa's knee, just under his chin.

    - T.W. Handford
    On Grandpapa's Knee
    by T.W. Handford

    The cosiest place and the snuggest spot,
    In the summer time
    When the days are hot,
    And Jessie is tired as tired can be,
    Is just to climb up on grandpapa's knee.
    Oh! the dearest place
    To nestle in,
    Is on grandpapa's knee, just under his chin.

  2. Grandfather's Chair

    by Matthias Barr

    I love, when the evenings are balmy and still,
    And summer is smiling on valley and hill,
    To see in the garden the little ones there,
    All happy and smiling round grandfather’s chair.

    Such stories he tells them,—such tales of delight,—
    Such wonders to dream of by day and by night,
    It’s little they’re thinking of sorrow and care,
    Their bright faces beaming round grandfather’s chair.

    And words, too, of wisdom, fall oft from his tongue;
    Dear lessons to cherish and treasure while young;
    Bright things to remember when white is their hair,
    And some of them sit in a grandfather’s chair.

    Ah! little ones, love him, be kind while you may,
    For swiftly the moments are speeding away;
    Not long the kind looks and the love you may share,
    That beam on you now from grandfather’s chair.

  3. Grandpa And I

    by William Henry Dawson

    When I was but a baby boy,
    At mother's breast,
    Grandpa and I,
    On his old farm, in Illinois—
    Then called "out west,"
    Grandpa and I
    Were friends as close as e'er you knew:
    He'd do whate'er I wished him to;
    We were each to the other true—
    Grandpa and I.

    We were together day and night,
    On that old farm,
    Grandpa and I:
    Whate'er he did for me was right.
    We feared no harm—
    Grandpa and I.
    At night he'd take me in his bed;
    When hungry, I was by him fed:
    Oh, what a happy life we led,
    Grandpa and I.

    When I had learned to run and walk,
    We'd walk about,
    Grandpa and I:
    He'd listen to my childish talk,
    When we were out,
    Grandpa and I:
    With thread for line and pin for hook,
    He'd take me fishing in the brook,
    And seat us in some shady nook,
    Grandpa and I.

    And when I had grown larger still,
    On old Fill's back,
    Grandpa and I,
    Would ride down to the old grist mill,
    With corn in sack—
    Grandpa and I.
    I used to watch the old millwheel,
    While corn was grinding into meal,
    And when 'twas done how glad we'd feel,
    Grandpa and I.

    Sometimes he'd take me on his back,
    In forest wild,
    Grandpa and I,
    And put the dog on 'possum's track,
    To please the child—
    Grandpa and I.
    And when we'd hear the old dog bay,
    He'd quicken his tired steps that way,
    And "Sick 'im, Spry!" we both would say—
    Grandpa and I.

    And oftentimes on Thursday night,
    To church we'd go,
    Grandpa and I.
    We went because he thought 'twas right—
    Through rain or snow,
    Grandpa and I.
    Before the prayers were all said,
    I'd have, Oh, such a sleepy head,
    And dream we were at home in bed,
    Grandpa and I.

    And thus my boyhood days were spent—
    Oh, happy days—
    Grandpa and I.
    I went with him where er he went
    Learned his quaint ways,
    Grandpa and I.
    Until death took him from my side—
    Companion, counsellor and guide:
    But some day we'll walk side by side—
    Grandpa and I.

  4. Grandfather's Clock

    by Henry C. Work

    My grandfather's clock was too tall for the shelf,
    So it stood ninety years on the floor;
    It was taller by half than the old man himself,
    Though it weighed not a pennyweight more.
    It was bought on the morn of the day that he was born,
    And was always his treasure and pride,
    But it stopped short ne'er to go again
    When the old man died.

    In watching its pendulum swing to and fro,
    Many hours had he spent while a boy;
    And in childhood and manhood the clock seemed to know
    And to share both his grief and his joy,
    For it struck twenty-four when he entered at the door,
    With a blooming and beautiful bride,
    But it stopped short never to go again
    When the old man died.

    My grandfather said that of those he could hire,
    Not a servant so faithful he found,
    For it wasted no time and had but one desire,
    At the close of each week to be wound.
    And it kept in its place, not a frown upon its face,
    And its hands never hung by its side.
    But it stopped short never to go again
    When the old man died.

  5. Golden Hair

    by Author

    Golden Hair climbed upon Grandpapa’s knee,
    Dear little Golden Hair! tired was she,
    All the day busy as busy could be.

    Up in the morning as soon as ’twas light.
    Out with the birds and the butterflies bright,
    Skipping about till the coming of night.

    Grandpapa toyed with the curls on her head:
    “What has my baby been doing, ”he said,
    “Since she arose, with the sun, from her bed?”

    “Pitty much,” answered the sweet little one;
    “I cannot tell so much things I have done—
    Played with my dolly, and feeded my Bun.

    “And then I have jumped with my little jump-rope,
    And then I made, out of some water and soap,
    Bootiful worlds, mamma’s castles of hope.

    I afterward have readed in my picture book,
    And Bella and I, we went down to look
    For smooth little stones by the side of the brook.

    “Then I comed home, and I eated my tea,
    And then I climbed up on Grandpapa’s knee.
    And I jes’ as tired as tired can be.”

    Lower and lower the little head pressed,
    Until it drooped upon Grandpapa’s breast;
    Dear little Golden Hair! sweet be thy rest.

    We are but children; the things that we do
    Are as sports of the baby to the infinite view.
    That marks all our weakness, and pities it, too.

    God grant that when night overshadows our way,
    And we shall be called to account for our day,
    It shall find us as guiltless as Golden Hair’s lay.

  6. The Grandfather

    by Charles G. Eastman

    The farmer sat in his easy-chair
    Smoking his pipe of clay,
    While his hale old wife with busy care,
    Was clearing the dinner away;
    A sweet little girl with fine blue eyes,
    On her grandfather's knee, was catching flies.

    The old man laid his hand on her head,
    With a tear on his wrinkled face,
    He thought how often her mother, dead,
    Had sat in the selfsame place;
    As the tear stole down from his half-shut eye,
    "Don't smoke!" said the child, "how it makes you cry!"

    The house dog lay stretched out on the floor,
    Where the shade, afternoons, used to steal;
    The busy old wife by the open door
    Was turning the spinning wheel,
    And the old brass clock on the manteltree
    Had plodded along to almost three.

    Still the farmer sat in his easy-chair,
    While close to his heaving breast
    The moistened brow and the cheek so fair
    Of his sweet grandchild were pressed;
    His head bent down, all her soft hair lay;
    Fast asleep were they both on that summer day.

  7. Grandpapapa's Spectacles

    by Elizabeth Sill

    Grandpapa’s spectacles cannot be found;
    He has searched all the rooms, high and low, round and round;
    Now he calls to the young ones, and what does he say?
    “Ten cents to the child who will find them to-day.”

    Then Henry, and Nelly, and Edward all ran,
    And a most thorough hunt for the glasses began,
    And dear little Nell, in her generous way,
    Said, “I’ll look for them, grandpa, without any pay.”

    All through the big Bible she searches with care,
    That lies on the table by grandpapa’s chair;
    They feel in his pockets, they peep in his hat,
    They pull out the sofa, they shake out the mat.

    Then down on all-fours, like two good- natured bears,
    Go Harry and Ned under tables and chairs,
    Till, quite out of breath, Ned is heard to declare
    He believes that those glasses are not anywhere.

    But Nelly, who, leaning on grandpapa’s knee,
    Was thinking most earnestly where they could be,
    Looked suddenly up in the kind, faded eyes,
    And her own shining brown ones grew big with surprise.

    She clapped both her hands—all her dimples came out,—
    She turned to the boys with a bright, roguish shout:
    “You may leave off your looking, both Harry and Ned,
    For there are the glasses on grandpapa’s head!”

  8. The Veteran and the Child

    by Hannah Flagg Gould

    'Come, grandfather, show how you carried your gun
    To the field, where America's freedom was won,
    Or bore your old sword, which you say was new then,
    When you rose to command, and led forward your men;
    And tell how you felt with the balls whizzing by,
    Where the wounded fell round you, to bleed and to die!'

    The prattler had stirred, in the veteran's breast,
    The embers of fire that had long been at rest.
    The blood of his youth rushed anew through his veins;
    The soldier returned to his weary campaigns;
    His perilous battles at once fighting o'er,
    While the soul of nineteen lit the eye of four-score.

    "I carried my musket, as one that must be
    But loosed from the hold of the dead, or the free!
    And fearless I lifted my good, trusty sword,
    In the hand of a mortal, the strength of the Lord!
    In battle, my vital flame freely, I felt
    Should go, but the chains of my country to melt!"

    "I sprinkled my blood upon Lexington's sod,
    And Charlestown's green height to the war-drum I trod.
    From the fort, on the Hudson, our guns I depressed,
    The proud coming sail of the foe to arrest.
    I stood at Stillwater, the Lakes, and White Plains,
    And offered for freedom to empty my veins!"

    "Dost now ask me, child, since thou hear'st where I ve been,
    Why my brow is so furrowed, my locks white and thin—
    Why this faded eye cannot go by the line,
    Trace out little beauties, and sparkle like thine;
    Or why so unstable his tremulous knee,
    Who bore 'sixty years since,' such perils for thee?"

    "What! sobbing so quick? are the tears going to start?
    Come! lean thy young head on thy grandfather's heart!
    It has not much longer to glow with the joy
    I feel thus to clasp thee, so noble a boy!
    But when in earth's bosom it long has been cold,
    A man, thou 'lt recall, what, a babe, thou art told."