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TO HIS FATHER

by
Christ was your lord and captain all your life,
He fails the world but you he did not fail,
He led you through all forms of grief and strife
Intact, a man full-armed, he let prevail
Nor outward malice nor the worse-fanged snake
That coils in one's own brain against your calm,
That great rich jewel well guarded for his sake
With coronal age and death like quieting balm.
I Father having followed other guides And oftener to my hurt no leader at all, Through years nailed up like dripping panther hides For trophies on a savage temple wall Hardly anticipate that reverend stage Of life, the snow-wreathed honor of extreme age.

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