With my father
I would watch dawn
over green fields.


Translated by Robert Hass

by Kobayashi Issa.

Father, Farewell! Be Not Distressed

`Father, farewell! Be not distressed,
And take my vow, ere I depart,
To found a Convent in my breast,
And keep a cloister in my heart.'

by Alfred Austin.

My Baby Has A Father And A Mother

My baby has a father and a mother,
Rich little baby!
Fatherless, motherless, I know another
Forlorn as may be:
Poor little baby!

by Christina Georgina Rossetti.

Father And Lover.

My father was a god before you came;
Now in another shrine I bow the knee,
E'en as my mother in her own love-dream
Did from her father turn to worship mine.

by Robert Crawford.

Heavenly Father

'Heavenly Father' - take to thee
The supreme iniquity
Fashioned by thy candid Hand
In a moment contraband -
Though to trust us - seems to us
More respectful - 'We are Dust' -
We apologize to thee
For thine own Duplicity -

by Emily Dickinson.

61

Papa above!
Regard a Mouse
O'erpowered by the Cat!
Reserve within thy kingdom
A "Mansion" for the Rat!

Snug in seraphic Cupboards
To nibble all the day
While unsuspecting Cycles
Wheel solemnly away!

by Emily Dickinson.

A Father To A Mother

When God's own child came down to earth,
High heaven was very glad;
The angels sang for holy mirth;
Not God himself was sad!

Shall we, when ours goes homeward, fret?
Come, Hope, and wait on Sorrow!
The little one will not forget;
It's only till to-morrow!

by George MacDonald.

Epitaph On My Ever Honoured Father

O YE whose cheek the tear of pity stains,
Draw near with pious rev'rence, and attend!
Here lie the loving husband's dear remains,
The tender father, and the gen'rous friend;
The pitying heart that felt for human woe,
The dauntless heart that fear'd no human pride;
The friend of man-to vice alone a foe;
For 'ev'n his failings lean'd to virtue's side.'

by Robert Burns.

Tired with the little follies of the day,
A child crept, sobbing, to your arms to say
Her evening prayer; and if by God or you
Forgiven and loved, she never asked or knew.


With life's mistake and care too early old,
And spent with sorrow upon sorrow told,
She finds the father's heart the surest rest;
The earliest love shall be the last and best.

by Elizabeth Stuart Phelps Ward.

Il faut écouter, amis,
La parole des ancêtres.
- Ne soyons jamais soumis !
Mais, d’où viennent tous les êtres ?

Donc pour cela, puis-je oser,
A travers l’imaginaire,
Vous envoyer un baiser
De tout mon coeur, mon grand-père ?

Vous faisiez des vers très doux
D’après le doux Théocrite,
» L’Oaristys ! » C’est de vous
Qu’en faisant ces vers, j’hérite.

by Charles Cros.

If in my arms I bore my child,
Would he cry out for fear
Because the night was dark and wild
And no one else was near?

Shall I then treat thee, Father, as
My fatherhood would grieve?
I will be hopeful, though, alas,
I cannot quite believe!

I had no power, no wish to be:
Thou madest me half blind!
The darkness comes! I cling to thee!
Be thou my perfect mind.

by George MacDonald.

Father Of Love, To Thee I Bend

Father of love, to thee I bend
My heart, and lift mine eyes;
O let my pray'r and praise ascend
As odours to the skies.

Thy pard'ning voice I come to hear,
To know thee as thou art:
Thy ministers can reach the ear,
But thou must touch the heart.

O stamp me in thy heav'nly mould,
And grant thy word appl'd
May bring forth fruit an hundred fold
And speak me justify'd.

by Augustus Montague Toplady.

There is a hall in every house,
Behind whose wainscot gnaws the mouse;
Along whose sides are empty rooms,
Peopled with dreams and ancient dooms.
When down this hall you take your light,
And face, alone, the hollow night,
Be like the child who goes to bed,
Though faltering and half adread
Of something crouching crookedly
In every corner he can see,
Ready to snatch him into gloom,
Yet goes on bravely to his room,
Knowing, above him, watching there,
His father waits upon the stair.

by Madison Julius Cawein.

'Tis One By One — The Father Counts

545

'Tis One by One — the Father counts —
And then a Tract between
Set Cypherless — to teach the Eye
The Value of its Ten —

Until the peevish Student
Acquire the Quick of Skill —
Then Numerals are dowered back —
Adorning all the Rule —

'Tis mostly Slate and Pencil —
And Darkness on the School
Distracts the Children's fingers —
Still the Eternal Rule

Regards least Cypherer alike
With Leader of the Band —
And every separate Urchin's Sum —
Is fashioned for his hand —

by Emily Dickinson.

Portrait Of My Father As A Young Man

In the eyes: dream. The brow as if it could feel
something far off. Around the lips, a great
freshness--seductive, though there is no smile.
Under the rows of ornamental braid
on the slim Imperial officer's uniform:
the saber's basket-hilt. Both hands stay
folded upon it, going nowhere, calm
and now almost invisible, as if they
were the first to grasp the distance and dissolve.
And all the rest so curtained within itself,
so cloudy, that I cannot understand
this figure as it fades into the background--.

Oh quickly disappearing photograph
in my more slowly disappearing hand.

by Rainer Maria Rilke.

Father, I cry to thee for bread
With hungred longing, eager prayer;
Thou hear'st, and givest me instead
More hunger and a half-despair.

0 Lord, how long? My days decline,
My youth is lapped in memories old;
I need not bread alone, but wine-
See, cup and hand to thee I hold!

And yet thou givest: thanks, O Lord,
That still my heart with hunger faints!
The day will come when at thy board
I sit, forgetting all my plaints.

If rain must come and winds must blow,
And I pore long o'er dim-seen chart,
Yet, Lord, let not the hunger go,
And keep the faintness at my heart.

by George MacDonald.

Sonnet 37: As A Decrepit Father Takes Delight

As a decrepit father takes delight
To see his active child do deeds of youth,
So I, made lame by Fortune's dearest spite,
Take all my comfort of thy worth and truth.
For whether beauty, birth, or wealth, or wit,
Or any of these all, or all, or more,
Entitled in thy parts, do crownèd sit,
I make my love engrafted to this store.
So then I am not lame, poor, nor despised,
Whilst that this shadow doth such substance give
That I in thy abundance am sufficed
And by a part of all thy glory live.
Look what is best, that best I wish in thee.
This wish I have; then ten times happy me!

by William Shakespeare.

To Her Father With Some Verses

Most truly honoured, and as truly dear,
If worth in me or ought I do appear,
Who can of right better demand the same
Than may your worthy self from whom it came?
The principal might yield a greater sum,
Yet handled ill, amounts but to this crumb;
My stock's so small I know not how to pay,
My bond remains in force unto this day;
Yet for part payment take this simple mite,
Where nothing's to be had, kings loose their right.
Such is my debt I may not say forgive,
But as I can, I'll pay it while I live;
Such is my bond, none can discharge but I,
Yet paying is not paid until I die.

by Anne Bradstreet.

Holy Sonnet Xvi: Father, Part Of His Double Interest

Father, part of his double interest
Unto thy kingdom, thy Son gives to me,
His jointure in the knotty Trinity
He keeps, and gives to me his death's conquest.
This Lamb, whose death with life the world hath blest,
Was from the world's beginning slain, and he
Hath made two Wills which with the Legacy
Of his and thy kingdom do thy Sons invest.
Yet such are thy laws that men argue yet
Whether a man those statutes can fulfil;
None doth; but all-healing grace and spirit
Revive again what law and letter kill.
Thy law's abridgement, and thy last command
Is all but love; Oh let this last Will stand!

by John Donne.

On A Picture Of My Father

I strive in vain those features to restore
To Memory's faded tablets, which on me,
From the mute ivory, beam so lovingly,
And to recall their living light once more.
In vain I strive to pierce that veil of years,
And turn away all blinded with my tears.
But sometimes when the garish day is passed,
And night and sleep their spell upon me cast,
Thou comest to me, my father, from above,
And then for that brief moment I am blest,
For I am folded to thy sheltering breast;
And in the sacred rapture of thy love
A holy spell is on my spirit laid:
This mighty hunger of my heart is stayed.

by Anne Charlotte Lynch Botta.

Occupation: Father

My son finds occupation
in almost nothing, in everything:
my soapy penitential toothpaste,
his mother's loosened hair
orts, containers, useless things;
watches as I pee
as at Victoria Falls,
once pushed his head between my knees
to risk some sort of baptism.

Before his birth I thought
I had room for no more love:
now when he (say) hurts himself
love, consideration, care
(copies from the originals)
as if burst inside me.

Undoggedly I interest myself
in his uninteresting concerns,
grow backward to him,
more than hoping to find
a forward interest for myself.

by Ben Jonson.

Dantis Tenebrae (In Memory Of My Father)

AND didst thou know indeed, when at the font
Together with thy name thou gav'st me his,
That also on thy son must Beatrice
Decline her eyes according to her wont,
Accepting me to be of those that haunt
The vale of magical dark mysteries
Where to the hills her poet's foot-track lies,
And wisdom's living fountain to his chaunt
Trembles in music? This is that steep land
Where he that holds his journey stands at gaze
Tow'rd sunset, when the clouds like a new height
Seem piled to climb. These things I understand:
For here, where day still soothes my lifted face,
On thy bowed head, my father, fell the night.

by Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

Father, Father Abraham

(On the Anniversary of Lincoln's Birth)


Father, Father Abraham,
Today look on us from above;
On us, the offspring of thy faith,
The children of thy Christ-like love.

For that which we have humbly wrought,
Give us today thy kindly smile;
Wherein we've failed or fallen short,
Bear with us, Father, yet awhile.

Father, Father Abraham,
Today we lift our hearts to thee,
Filled with the thought of what great price
Was paid, that we might ransomed be.

Today we consecrate ourselves
Anew in hand and heart and brain,
To send this judgment down the years:
The ransom was not paid in vain.

by James Weldon Johnson.

Holy Sonnet Xvi: Father

Father, part of his double interest
Unto thy kingdome, thy Sonne gives to mee,
His joynture in the knottie Trinitie
Hee keepes, and gives to me his deaths conquest.
This Lambe, whose death, with life the world hath blest,
Was from the worlds beginning slaine, and he
Hath made two Wills, which with the Legacie
Of his and thy kingdome, doe thy Sonnes invest.
Yet such are thy laws, that men argue yet
Whether a man those statutes can fulfill;
None doth; but all-healing grace and spirit
Revive againe what law and letter kill.
Thy lawes abridgement, and thy last command
Is all but love; Oh let this last Will stand!

by John Donne.

Shew Us The Father

'Shew us the Father.' Chiming stars of space,
And lives that fit the worlds, and means and powers,
A Thought that holds them up reveal to ours-
A Wisdom we have been made wise to trace.
And, looking out from sweetest Nature's face,
From sunsets, moonlights, rivers, hills, and flowers,
Infinite love and beauty, all the hours,
Woo men that love them with divinest grace;
And to the depths of all the answering soul
High Justice speaks, and calls the world her own;
And yet we long, and yet we have not known
The very Father's face who means the whole!
Shew us the Father! Nature, conscience, love
Revealed in beauty, is there One above?

by George MacDonald.

Sonnet Xx: Lawrence, Of Virtuous Father

To Mr Lawrence

Lawrence, of virtuous father virtuous son,
Now that the fields are dank, and ways are mire,
Where shall we sometimes meet, and by the fire
Help waste a sullen day, what may be won
From the hard season gaining? Time will run
On smoother, till Favonius re-inspire
The frozen earth, and clothe in fresh attire
The lily and rose, that neither sowed nor spun.
What neat repast shall feast us, light and choice,
Of Attic taste, with wine, whence we may rise
To hear the lute well touched, or artful voice
Warble immortal notes and Tuscan air?
He who of those delights can judge, and spare
To interpose them oft, is not unwise.

by John Milton.

Another Acrostic ( In The Style Of Father William )

"Are you deaf, Father William!" the young man said,
"Did you hear what I told you just now?
"Excuse me for shouting! Don't waggle your head
"Like a blundering, sleepy old cow!
"A little maid dwelling in Wallington Town,
"Is my friend, so I beg to remark:
"Do you think she'd be pleased if a book were sent down
"Entitled 'The Hunt of the Snark?'"


"Pack it up in brown paper!" the old man cried,
"And seal it with olive-and-dove.
"I command you to do it!" he added with pride,
"Nor forget, my good fellow to send her beside
"Easter Greetings, and give her my love."

by Lewis Carroll.

A Hymn To God The Father

Hear me, O God!
A broken heart
Is my best part.
Use still thy rod,
That I may prove
Therein thy Love.

If thou hadst not
Been stern to me,
But left me free,
I had forgot
Myself and thee.

For sin's so sweet,
As minds ill-bent
Rarely repent,
Until they meet
Their punishment.

Who more can crave
Than thou hast done?
That gav'st a Son,
To free a slave,
First made of nought;
With all since bought.

Sin, Death, and Hell
His glorious name
Quite overcame,
Yet I rebel
And slight the same.

But I'll come in
Before my loss
Me farther toss,
As sure to win
Under His cross.

by Ben Jonson.

Sonnet Xii: That Learned Father

To the Soul

That learned Father, who so firmly proves
The Soul of man immortal and divine,
And doth the several offices define:
Anima - Gives her that name, as she the Body moves;
Amor - Then is she Love, embracing charity;
Animus - Moving a Will in us, it is the Mind
Mens - Retaining knowledge, still the same in kind;
Memoria - As intellectual, it is Memory;
Ratio - In judging, Reason only is her name;
Sensus - In speedy apprehension, it is Sense;
Conscientia - In right or wrong, they call her Conscience;
Spiritus - The Spirit, when it to Godward doth inflame.
These of the Soul the several functions be,
Which my Heart, lighten'd by thy love, doth see.

by Michael Drayton.

Heavenly Father, after the lost days,

‘Padre del ciel, dopo i perduti giorni,'

Heavenly Father, after the lost days,
after the nights spent wandering,
with that fierce desire that burned in my heart,
gazing on limbs so adorned as to do me harm,
now may it please you by Your light that I turn
to the greater life and more beautiful work,
so that my harsh adversary having cast
his nets in vain, may be discredited.
Now, my Lord, the eleventh year revolves
since I was bowed under the pitiless yoke,
which to those most subject to it is most fierce.
Have pity on my unworthy suffering:
lead back my wandering thoughts to a better place:
remind them how you hung, today, upon the cross.

Translated by: A. S. Kline

by Francesco Petrarch.

Hymn Xviii: Father, Saviour Of Mankind

Father, Saviour of mankind,
Who hast on me bestowed
An immortal soul, designed
To be the house of God;
Come, and now reside in me,
Never, never to remove;
Make me just and good, like thee,
And full of power and love.

Bid me in thy image rise,
A saint, a creature new,
True, and merciful, and wise,
And pure, and happy too.
This thy primitive design,
That I should in thee be blest,
Should within the arms divine
For ever, ever rest.

Let thy will on me be done;
Fulfil my heart's desire,
Thee to know and love alone,
And rise in raptures higher;
Thee, descending on a cloud,
When with ravished eyes I see,
Then I shall be filled with God
To all eternity!

by John Wesley.

Hymn Xviii: Father, Saviour Of Mankind

Father, Saviour of mankind,
Who hast on me bestowed
An immortal soul, designed
To be the house of God;
Come, and now reside in me,
Never, never to remove;
Make me just and good, like thee,
And full of power and love.

Bid me in thy image rise,
A saint, a creature new,
True, and merciful, and wise,
And pure, and happy too.
This thy primitive design,
That I should in thee be blest,
Should within the arms divine
For ever, ever rest.

Let thy will on me be done;
Fulfil my heart's desire,
Thee to know and love alone,
And rise in raptures higher;
Thee, descending on a cloud,
When with ravished eyes I see,
Then I shall be filled with God
To all eternity!

by Charles Wesley.

Hymn For The Opening Of Plymouth Church, St. Paul, Minnesota

All things are Thine: no gift have we,
Lord of all gifts, to offer Thee;
And hence with grateful hearts to-day,
Thy own before Thy feet we lay.

Thy will was in the builders' thought;
Thy hand unseen amidst us wrought;
Through mortal motive, scheme and plan,
Thy wise eternal purpose ran.

No lack Thy perfect fulness knew;
For human needs and longings grew
This house of prayer, this home of rest,
In the fair garden of the West.

In weakness and in want we call
On Thee for whom the heavens are small;
Thy glory is Thy children's good,
Thy joy Thy tender Fatherhood.

O Father! deign these walls to bless,
Fill with Thy love their emptiness,
And let their door a gateway be
To lead us from ourselves to Thee!

by John Greenleaf Whittier.

' Kiss me, papa' but the father,

Troubled racked -with worldly care,
Hurried out alone impatient-
Left his blue-eyed baby there.

' Kiss me, papa' he could hear it
Hear the baby voice so sweet ;

' Kiss me, papa,' still he heard it
Ringing down the busy street.

All day long, amid the frenzy
Of the mighty city's roar,

He could hear his baby pleading-
Pleading till his heart grew sore.

All day long the smile of fortune
Filled his worldly soul with joy ;

Then at night, with pulses bounding,
Home he sped to meet his boy.

Home he came. The mother voiceless-
Led him to the well-known bed :

There, mid roses, crushed and fragrant,
Lay his baby, cold and dead !

by Robert Kirkland Kernighan.

My Father He Was A Fisherman

MY father he was a fisherman,
That wrought at the break o' day,
And hither and thither the long tides ran
I' the long blue bay.

'The tides go up and the tides go down,
But what do you know of the sea ?'
Her voice, i' the long gray streets o' the town,
Is singing to me.

'What do you know of the sails at dawn,
What of the shell-white foam ?'
Cheerly and sweet, from a world withdrawn,
They are calling me home.

'What is the grief you fain would tell
When your eyes are turned on me ?'
O, well it was taught and I learned it well,–
The grief o' the sea.

'Where do you travel and where do you sleep,
Where shall you take your rest ?'
At the inn that shelters my father, deep
I' the seas o' the west.

by Marjorie Lowry Christie Pickthall.

Why did you part me from yourself, dear father, why?
You've given houses with two stories to my brothers,
And to me, a foreign land? Why dear father, why?
We (daughters) are just cows tied to your peg,
Will move on to where ever you drive us to, dear father.
We are just flower-buds of your garden,
And are asked for, in every household, dear father.
We are just birds from your cage,
Will fly off when its dawn again, dear father.
I've left at home, alcoves full of dolls;
And parted from my buddies too, dear father.
When my palanquin passed beneath the terrace,
My brother fainted and fell, dear father.
As I remove the curtain from the palanquin,
I see we've reached the beloved's house, dear father.
Why did you part me from yourself, dear father, why?

by Amir Khusro.

Who Were 'The Father And The Son'

Who were 'the Father and the Son'
We pondered when a child,
And what had they to do with us
And when portentous told

With inference appalling
By Childhood fortified
We thought, at least they are no worse
Than they have been described.

Who are 'the Father and the Son'
Did we demand Today
'The Father and the Son' himself
Would doubtless specify -

But had they the felicity
When we desired to know.
We better Friends had been, perhaps,
Than time ensue to be -

We start - to learn that we believe
But once - entirely -
Belief, it does not fit so well
When altered frequently -

We blush, that Heaven if we achieve -
Event ineffable -
We shall have shunned until ashamed
To own the Miracle -

by Emily Dickinson.

A Prayer To The Father Of Heaven

O radiant luminary of light interminable,
Celestial Father, potential God of might,
Of heaven and earth O Lord incomparable,
Of all perfections the essential most perfite !
O maker of mankind, that formëd day and night,
Whose power imperial comprehendeth every place :
Mine heart, my mind, my thought, my whole delight
Is after this life to see thy glorious face.

Whose magnificense is incomprehensible,
All arguments of reason which far doth exceed,
Whose deity doubtless is indivisible,
From whom all goodness and virtue doth proceed ;
Of thy support all creätures have need :
Assist me, good Lord, and grant my of thy grace
To live to thy pleasure in word, thought, and deed,
And after this life to see thy glorious face.

by John Skelton.

Father Of Light, And Life, And Love!

Father of light, and life, and love!
Thyself to us reveal;
As saints below, and saints above,
Thy sacred presence feel.

Not with the eye of mortal sense
By angels round the throne,
Or happy souls departed hence,
Art Thou in glory known.

No sun by day, no moon by night
For this our spirits need;
Who walk by faith, and not by sight,
They feel Thee nigh indeed.

Light in thy light the blind may see,
No more by sin estranged;
Light in the Lord, so let us be
Into thine image changed.

Since Thou Thyself dost still display
Unto the pure in heart,
O make us children of the day
To know Thee as Thou art.

For Thou art light and life and love;
And thy redeemed below
May see Thee as thy saints above,
And know Thee as they know.

by James Montgomery.

Captain Patrick Tobin, R.D.F. Suvla, August 15th, 1915


Ever his eyes are fixed on a glorious sight.
A boy is leading, calls his men to come on:
Light as a deer he leaps, slender and bright,
Up the hill, irresistible: it is won!

Ever he sees the boy against the sky,
A slender Victory, light on his golden head.
Hardly the down on his lip he hath leaped so high,
His name is writ among the undying Dead.

Captain at one-and-twenty! Much was to come,
Great things yet to be done, heights to be scaled;
Love and comradeship, all fruition of bloom.
He has attained to the highest. Not he who failed!

The mother weeps her boy who comes not again.
The Father sees him, splendid and laughing still,
Leaping like a young deer, calling his men.
The glory dazzles! The boy's keeping the hill!

by Katharine Tynan.