James Whitcomb Riley
A NEW VERSION BY LEE O. HARRIS AND JAMES
'You are old, Father William, and though one would think
All the veins in your body were dry,
Yet the end of your nose is red as a pink;
I beg your indulgence, but why?'
'You see,' Father William replied, 'in my youth--
'Tis a thing I must ever regret--
It worried me so to keep up with the truth
That my nose has a flush on it yet.'
'You are old,' said the youth, 'and I grieve to detect
A feverish gleam in your eye;
Yet I'm willing to give you full time to reflect.
Now, pray, can you answer me why?'
'Alas,' said the sage, 'I was tempted to choose
Me a wife in my earlier years,
And the grief, when I think that she didn't refuse,
Has reddened my eyelids with tears.'
'You are old, Father William,' the young man said,
'And you never touch wine, you declare,
Yet you sleep with your feet at the head of the bed;
Now answer me that if you dare.'
'In my youth,' said the sage, 'I was told it was true,
That the world turned around in the night;
I cherished the lesson, my boy, and I knew
That at morning my feet would be right.'
'You are old,' said the youth, 'and it grieved me to note,
As you recently fell through the door,
That 'full as a goose' had been chalked on your coat;
Now answer me that I implore.'
'My boy,' said the sage, 'I have answered you fair,
While you stuck to the point in dispute,
But this is a personal matter, and there
Is my answer--the toe of my boot.'
James Whitcomb Riley's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (Father William by James Whitcomb Riley )
- If God Wills Then..., Dr John Celes
- Don't Care, Sara Fielder
- Encounter with a Creature, Kim Barney
- Oh! Drink killed him…, Aftab Alam
- What is business, gajanan mishra
- I Don't Knead Your Love Butt it Would BE.., Mr. Nobody
- Story to tell, hasmukh amathalal
- Why Africa Would Not Bow, Jerome Chukwuemeka Edwin
- Walking With The Master, Heather Burns
- O night, you have so much beauty really, gajanan mishra
Poem of the Day
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
- Dreams, Langston Hughes
- Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
- Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
- I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
- If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
- Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
- Heather Burns
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
(27 October 1914 – 9 November 1953)