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 )
- The curving world's edge (Passion Sonnet), Gert Strydom
- Could My Calm Coax You, Susan Lacovara
- At times we are only set on passing (Ame.., Gert Strydom
- The Implementation Is Seldom Unchanged, Lawrence S. Pertillar
- Clean India Campaign, Dr John Celes
- Holy Journey, Col Muhamad Khalid Khan
- MISSION, Col Muhamad Khalid Khan
- Life's Numbers, Randy McClave
- Imagining Love, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
- Hunted, Mae AC.
Poem of the Day
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- Daffodils, William Wordsworth
- My Love Is Like To Ice, Edmund Spenser
- If, Rudyard Kipling
- I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
- Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
- Nothing Gold Can Stay, Robert Frost
- Dreams, Langston Hughes
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
- Heather Burns
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
(13 September 1916 – 23 November 1990)
(24 January 1572 - 31 March 1631)