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Parenting Poems

Table of Contents

  1. The Credulous Child by Anonymous
  2. Where Fame is Sure by Amos Russel Wells
  3. Begin at Home by Anonymous
  4. Little Children by Caroline May
  5. The Lost Kite by Hannah Flagg Gould
  6. My Good-For-Nothing by Emily Huntington Miller
  7. A Natural Inquiry by Anonymous
  8. A Happy Man by Edwin Arlington Robinson
  9. Effort by Edgar A. Guest
  10. A Song of Twilight by Anonymous
  11. When the Young Are Grown by Edgar A. Guest
  12. Masterpieces by Ethel Hueston
  13. The Reformation of Godfrey Gore by William Brighty Rands
  14. New-Year's Morning by Lydia Sigourney

  1. The Credulous Child

    And now no reason's cool control
    So wins me to be true
    As this unthinking little soul
    That trusts me through and through.

    - Anonymous
    The Credulous Child
    by Anonymous

    The older ones that know me best,
    And hear and weigh and see,
    Finding I somewhat bear the test,
    Somewhat believe in me.

    But oh, dear loyal little heart
    Though others hold aloof
    How sure of me thou always art
    Without a single proof!

    And now no reason's cool control
    So wins me to be true
    As this unthinking little soul
    That trusts me through and through.

  2. Where Fame is Sure

    Though all the storms of life may beat,
    Your fame will find a safe retreat,
    A haven sure and undefiled,
    Within the memory of your child.

    - Amos R. Wells
    Where Fame is Sure
    by Amos Russel Wells

    The hollow-sounding trump of fame
    May never magnify your name,
    Nor even in the small renown
    Of any close-encircled town
    May men exult your praises high
    To fill a little, local sky.

    But evermore and evermore,
    To Time's remotest, firmest shore,
    Though all the storms of life may beat,
    Your fame will find a safe retreat,
    A haven sure and undefiled,
    Within the memory of your child.

    Ah, let it be your constant care
    That this your fame may all be fair,
    That only what is kind and wise
    Your child may thus immortalize,
    And carry through eternity
    The parent you would like to be!


  3. Begin at Home

    No home so unwise as the teacher's
    That teaches only abroad;
    No home so accursed as the preacher's
    That tells only strangers of God.

    - Amos R. Wells
    Begin at Home
    by Amos Russel Wells

    No home so unwise as the teacher's
    That teaches only abroad;
    No home so accursed as the preacher's
    That tells only strangers of God.

    Ah there's many a world's care-taker
    Whose house lacks neatness and grace,
    And there's many a merrymaker
    Whose home is the saddest place.

    And I wonder if up in heaven.
    Where homes are of priceless worth,
    Christ's "many mansions" are given
    To the home-neglecters of earth.

  4. Little Children

    Speak gently to the little child,
    So guileless and so free,
    Who with a trustful, loving heart,
    Puts confidence in thee.

    - Caroline May
    Little Children
    by Caroline May

    Speak gently to the little child,
    So guileless and so free,
    Who with a trustful, loving heart,
    Puts confidence in thee.
    Speak not the cold and careless words
    Which time has taught thee well,
    Nor breathe one thought whose saddened tone
    Despair might seem to tell.

    If on his brow there rests a cloud,
    However light it be,
    Speak loving words, and let him feel
    He has a friend in thee;
    And do not send him from thy side
    Till on his face shall rest
    The joyous look and sunny smile,
    That mark a happy breast.

    Oh! teach him this should be his aim,
    To cheer the aching heart,
    To strive where thickest darkness reigns
    Some radiance to impart;
    To spread a peaceful, quiet calm,
    Where dwells the noise of strife,
    Thus doing good, and blessing all,
    To spend the whole of life.

    To love with pure affection deep
    All creatures, great and small,
    And still a stronger love to bear
    For Him who made them all
    Remember 't is no common task
    That thus to thee is given,
    To rear a spirit fit to be
    The habitant of Heaven!

  5. The Lost Kite

    I hold my jewel, new and bright,
    Lest he should stray without a guide,
    To drown my hopes in sorrow's tide!"

    - Anonymous
    The Credulous Child
    by Hannah Flagg Gould

    "My kite! my kite! I've lost my kite!
    Oh! when I saw the steady flight,
    With which she gained her lofty height,
    How could I know, that letting go
    That naughty string, would bring so low
    My pretty, buoyant, darling kite,
    To pass for ever out of sight?

    "A purple cloud was sailing by,
    With silver fringes, o'er the sky;
    And then, I thought, it seemed so nigh,
    I'd make my kite go up and light
    Upon its edge, so soft and bright;
    To see how noble, high and proud
    She'd look, while riding on a cloud!

    "As near her shining mark she drew,
    I clapped my hands; the line slipped through
    My silly fingers; and she flew,
    Away! away! in airy play,
    Right over where the water lay!
    She veered and fluttered, swung and gave
    A plunge, then vanished with the wave!

    "I never more shall want to look
    On that false cloud, or babbling brook;
    Nor e'er to feel the breeze that took
    My dearest joy, to thus destroy
    The pastime of your happy boy.
    My kite! my kite! how sad to think
    She flew so high, so soon to sink!"

    "Be this," the mother said, and smiled,
    "A lesson to thee, simple child!
    And when by fancies vain and wild,
    As that which cost the kite that's lost,
    Thy busy brain again is crossed,
    Of shining vapor then beware,
    Nor trust thy joys to fickle air!

    "I have a darling treasure, too,
    That sometimes would, by slipping through
    My guardian hands, the way pursue,
    From which, more tight than thou thy kite,
    I hold my jewel, new and bright,
    Lest he should stray without a guide,
    To drown my hopes in sorrow's tide!"

  6. My Good-For-Nothing

    Two rosy lips gave the answer so true,
    "Good to love you, mamma, good to love you."

    - Emily Huntington Miller
    My Good-For-Nothing
    by Emily Huntington Miller

    "What are you good for, my brave little man?
    Answer that question for me, if you can,—
    You, with your fingers as white as a nun,—
    You, with your ringlets as bright as the sun.
    All the day long, with your busy contriving,
    Into all mischief and fun you are driving;
    See if your wise little noddle can tell
    What you are good for. Now ponder it well."

    Over the carpet the dear little feet
    Came with a patter to climb on my seat;
    Two merry eyes, full of frolic and glee,
    Under their lashes looked up unto me;
    Two little hands pressing soft on my face,
    Drew me down close in a loving embrace;
    Two rosy lips gave the answer so true,
    "Good to love you, mamma, good to love you."

  7. A Natural Inquiry

    by Anonymous

    "Mamma," said Catharine sadly,
    "Which way do you want me to go?
    For to-day you called me a backward child,
    And to-day you called me a forward child,
    And how can they both be so?"

  8. A Happy Man

    Children that I leave behind,
    And their children, all were kind;
    Near to them and to my wife,
    I was happy all my life.

    - Edwin Arlington Robinson
    A Happy Man
    by Edwin Arlington Robinson

    When these graven lines you see,
    Traveller, do not pity me;
    Though I be among the dead,
    Let no mournful word be said.

    Children that I leave behind,
    And their children, all were kind;
    Near to them and to my wife,
    I was happy all my life.

    My three sons I married right,
    And their sons I rocked at night;
    Death nor sorrow never brought
    Cause for one unhappy thought.

    Now, and with no need of tears,
    Here they leave me, full of years,—
    Leave me to my quiet rest
    In the region of the blest.

  9. Effort

    by Edgar A. Guest

    He brought me his report card from the teacher and he said
    He wasn't very proud of it and sadly bowed his head.
    He was excellent in reading, but arithmetic, was fair,
    And I noticed there were several "unsatisfactorys" there;
    But one little bit of credit which was given brought me joy—
    He was "excellent in effort," and I fairly hugged the boy.

    "Oh, it doesn't make much difference what is written on your card,"
    I told that little fellow, "if you're only trying hard.
    The 'very goods' and 'excellents' are fine, I must agree,
    But the effort you are making means a whole lot more to me;
    And the thing that's most important when this card is put aside
    Is to know, in spite of failure, that to do your best you've tried.

    "Just keep excellent in effort—all the rest will come to you.
    There isn't any problem but some day you'll learn to do,
    And at last, when you grow older, you will come to understand
    That by hard and patient toiling men have risen to command
    And some day you will discover when a greater goal's at stake
    That better far than brilliance is the effort you will make."

  10. A Song of Twilight

    by Anonymous

    Oh, to come home once more, when the dusk is falling,
    To see the nursery lighted and the children's table spread;
    "Mother, mother, mother!" the eager voices calling,
    "The baby was so sleepy that he had to go to bed!"

    Oh, to come home once more, and see the smiling faces,
    Dark head, bright head, clustered at the pane;
    Much the years have taken, when the heart its path retraces,
    But until time is not for me, the image will remain.

    Men and women now they are, standing straight and steady,
    Grave heart, gay heart, fit for life's emprise;
    Shoulder set to shoulder, how should they be but ready!
    The future shines before them with the light of their own eyes.

    Still each answers to my call; no good has been denied me,
    My burdens have been fitted to the little strength that's mine,
    Beauty, pride and peace have walked by day beside me,
    The evening closes gently in, and how can I repine?

    But oh, to see once more, when the early dusk is falling,
    The nursery windows glowing and the children's table spread;
    "Mother, mother, mother!" the high child voices calling,
    "He couldn't stay awake for you, he had to go to bed!"

  11. When the Young Are Grown

    by Edgar A. Guest

    Once the house was lovely, but it's lonely here to-day,
    For time has come an' stained its walls an' called the young away;
    An' all that's left for mother an' for me till life is through
    Is to sit an' tell each other what the children used to do.

    We couldn't keep 'em always an' we knew it from the start;
    We knew when they were babies that some day we'd have to part.
    But the years go by so swiftly, an' the littlest one has flown,
    An' there's only me an' mother now left here to live alone.

    Oh, there's just one consolation, as we're sittin' here at night,
    They've grown to men an' women, an' we brought 'em up all right;
    We've watched 'em as we've loved 'em an' they're splendid, every one,
    An' we feel the Lord won't blame us for the way our work was done.

    They're clean, an' kind an' honest, an' the world respects 'em, too;
    That's the dream of parents always, an' our dreams have all come true.
    So although the house is lonely an' sometimes our eyes grow wet,
    We are proud of them an' happy an' we've nothing to regret.

  12. Masterpieces

    by Ethel Hueston

    Give me my pen,
    For I would write fine thoughts, pure thoughts,
    To touch men s hearts with tenderness,
    To fire with zeal for service grim,
    To cheer with mirth when skies are dull;
    Give me my pen,
    For I would write a masterpiece.

    Yet stay a while,
    For I must put away these toys,
    And wash this chubby, grimy face,
    And kiss this little hurting bruise,
    And hum a bedtime lullaby
    Take back the pen:
    This is a woman s masterpiece.

  13. The Reformation of Godfrey Gore

    by William Brighty Rands

    Godfrey Gordon Gustavus Gore—
    No doubt you have heard the name before—
    Was a boy who never would shut a door!

    The wind might whistle, the wind might roar,
    And teeth be aching and throats be sore,
    But still he never would shut the door.

    His father would beg, his mother implore,
    "Godfrey Gordon Gustavus Gore,
    We really do wish you would shut the door!"

    Their hands they wrung, their hair they tore;
    But Godfrey Gordon Gustavus Gore
    Was deaf as the buoy out at the Nore.

    When he walked forth the folks would roar,
    "Godfrey Gordon Gustavus Gore,
    Why don't you think to shut the door?"

    They rigged out a Shutter with sail and oar,
    And threatened to pack off Gustavus Gore
    On a voyage of penance to Singapore.

    But he begged for mercy, and said, "No more!
    Pray do not send me to Singapore
    On a Shutter, and then I will shut the door!"

    "You will?" said his parents; "then keep on shore!
    But mind you do! For the plague is sore
    Of a fellow that never will shut the door,
    Godfrey Gordon Gustavus Gore!"

  14. New-Year's Morning

    by Lydia Sigourney

    Wake, dear ones, 'tis the New-Year's morn,
    And many a wish for you is born,
    And many a prayer, of spirit true
    Breaks from paternal lips for you.

    No more the vales with daisies glow,
    The violets sleep, beneath the snow,
    The rose her radiant robes doth fold
    And hides her buds from winter's cold.

    But Spring, with gentle smile shall call
    Up from their beds, those slumberers all
    Fresh verdure o'er your path shall swell,
    The brook its tuneful story tell,
    And graceful flowers, with varied bloom,
    Again your garden's bound perfume.

    Ye are our buds; and in your breast
    The promise of our hope doth rest.

    When knowledge, like the breath of Spring,
    Shall wake your minds to blossoming,
    May their unfolding germs disclose,
    More than the fragrance of the rose,
    More than the brightness of the stream
    That through green shades, with sparkling gleam
    In peace and purity doth glide
    On to the Ocean's mighty tide.

    The country too, which gave you birth,
    That freest, happiest clime on earth,
    To all, to each, with fervour cries,
    "Oh for my sake, be good, be wise,
    Seek knowledge, and with studious pain,
    Resolve, her priceless gold to gain.

    Shun the strong cup, whose poisonous tide
    To ruin's dark abyss, doth guide,
    And with the sons of virtue stand,
    The bulwark of your native land.

    Me would you serve? This day begin
    The fear of God, the dread of sin;
    Love, for instruction's watchful care,
    The patient task, the nightly prayer;
    So shall you glitter as a gem,
    Bound in my brightest diadem."