Only a Dad
Only a dad with a tired face, Coming home from the daily race, Bringing little of gold or fame, To show how well he has played the game, But glad in his heart that his own rejoice To see him come and to hear his voice. Only a dad with a brood of four, One of ten million men or more. Plodding along in the daily strife, Bearing the whips and the scorns of life, With never a whimper of pain or hate, For the sake of those who at home await. Only a dad, neither rich nor proud, Merely one of the surging crowd Toiling, striving from day to day, Facing whatever may come his way, Silent, whenever the harsh condemn, And bearing it all for the love of them. Only a dad but he gives his all To smooth the way for his children small, Doing, with courage stern and grim, The deeds that his father did for him. This is the line that for him I pen: Only a dad, but the best of men.
True to the style for which he was known, "Only a Dad" is a simple rhyme that really requires no close reading to understand. The sentimental idealization of the perfect working father depicted is straightforward enough. It is also complete hogwash. With few exceptions, a father such as the one described by Mr. Guest would be miserable. Outwardly, perhaps he would appear happy and collected. Inwardly, he would be a ticking time bomb.