African American Poetry (1870-1928): A Digital Anthology

Leslie Pinckney Hill, "Father Love" (1919)

Originally published in The Crisis, October 1919

Father Love

ONE unto him does heaven grant to bend
By day and night above the creamy cheek
And dimpled smile of baby. 'Tis the meek,
Sweet privilege of mother to attend
The cradle shrine. There patience without end
Wins her a beauty words can never speak.
Her troubled joy has nothing more to seek
Where life and love in one devotion blend.

For him the roughened world, all day for him
The tyrant task, the tension of the mind.
But toil were vain as any froth or foam,
Were not that hour to come when twilight dim
Brings weariness, and father turns to find
Rest with the blessed angels of his home.

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