Henry Clay Work

(1 October 1832 – 8 June 1884 / Middletown, Connecticut)

Grand-Father's Clock - Poem by Henry Clay Work

My grand-father's clock was too large for the shelf,
So it stood ninety years on the floor;
It was taller by half than the old man himself,
Though it weighed not a penny weight more.
It was bought on the morn of the day that he was born,
And was always his treasure and pride;
But it stopp'd short never to go again
When the old man died.

Ninety years, without slumbering (tick, tick, tick, tick)
His life seconds numbering (tick, tick, tick, tick)
It stopp'd short never to go again
When the old man died.

In watching its pendulum swing to and fro,
Many hours had he spent while a boy;
And in childhood and manhood the clock seemed to know
And to share both his grief and his joy.
For it struck twenty-four when he entered at the door,
With a blooming and beautiful bride;
But it stopp'd short never to go again
When the old man died.

Ninety years, without slumbering (tick, tick, tick, tick)
His life seconds numbering (tick, tick, tick, tick)
It stopp'd short never to go again
When the old man died.

My grandfather said that of those he could hire,
Not a servant so faithful he found;
For it wasted no time, and had but one desire --
At the close of each week to be wound.
And it kept in its place -- not a frown upon its face,
And its hands never hung by its side;
But it stopp'd short never to go again
When the old man died.

Ninety years, without slumbering (tick, tick, tick, tick)
His life seconds numbering (tick, tick, tick, tick)
It stopp'd short never to go again
When the old man died.

It rang an alarm in the dead of the night --
An alarm that for years had been dumb;
And we knew that his spirit was pluming for flight --
That his hour of departure had come.
Still the clock kept the time, with a soft and muffled chime,
As we silently stood by his side;
But it stopp'd short never to go again
When the old man died.

Ninety years, without slumbering (tick, tick, tick, tick)
His life seconds numbering (tick, tick, tick, tick)
It stopp'd short never to go again
When the old man died.


Comments about Grand-Father's Clock by Henry Clay Work

  • (10/25/2018 9:48:00 AM)


    I love this old poem, l read it to my sibling who is in a nursing home and he asked me to say it again and his face lite up, so nice to see him smile. (Report) Reply

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Read poems about / on: childhood, grief, pride, father, beautiful, joy, life, wind



Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003



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