Address To My Father, On His Receiving An Easy Chair From The Right Hon. Lady--------.

A poem by John Clare

Calm resignation meets a happy end;
And Providence, long-trusted, brings a friend.
God's will be done, be patient and be good;
Elisha was, and ravens brought him food:
And so wast thou, my father,--fate's decree
Doom'd many evils should encompass thee;
And, like Elisha, though it met thee late,
Patience unwearied did not vainly wait.
Thou hast, my father, long been us'd to pine,
And patient borne thy pain; great pain was thine.
Thou hast submitted, ah, and thou hast known
The roughest storms that life has ever blown,
Yet met them like a lamb: thou wert resign'd,
And though thou pray'dst a better place to find,
'Twas nought presumptuous--meekly wouldst thou crave,
When pains rack'd sore, some easement in the grave;
To lay thy aching body down in peace,
Where want and pain, poor man's tormentors, cease.
'Twas all thy wish--and not till lately wish'd,
When age came on, and pain thy strength had crush'd.
There stood thy children, "ah," thou oft wouldst sigh,
"Let's see my babes brought up, and let me die.
"Though what I do brings them but little food,
"It better keeps them than a workhouse would.
"I've small enticement in this world to find,
"But could not rest if they were left behind."--
Bless thee, my father! thou'st been kind to me,
And God, who saw it, will be kind to thee.
Now pain has mark'd thee long with age's scars,
And age with double-blow thy end prepares,--
A crooked wreck, the trace of what has been,
Toil, want, and pain, now but too plainly seen,--
Thou'st met with friends who joy to damp despair,
And when most needed brought thy easy chair;
An easy seat thy wasted form to bless,
And make thy useless limbs to pain thee less:
O mayst thou long enjoy the comfort given,
Live long to bless them who the deed have done;
Then change thy earthly pains for joys in heaven!--
So beats the bosom of thy only son,
Whose bliss is at its height, whose long hope's crown'd,
To prove, when wanted most, thy friends are found.

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