Henry Clay Work

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

Come Back to the Farm! Poem by Henry Clay Work


Brother, come back! come back!
Dear brother, what can be the charm,
That holds you so strong -- that keeps you so long
Away from your father's able farm?
Poor Father, he tells how he needs you --
And would it be more than is due.
His labors to share, his burdens to bear,
Who once bore your burdens for you!

'Tis the voice of your sister -- she calls you,
In tones both of love and alarm!
"By dead mother's prayers -- by father's gray hairs --
Dear brother, come back to the farm."

Father, tho' years ago
The ablest and strongest of men,
Is failing at last -- you know he has past
The milestone of three-score and ten.
He's feeble, he's trembling, he's lonely,
Who once was so fearless and brave;
Yet you are away, while day after day
He totters on down to the grave.

Come from the wide, wide world,
Where dangers and perile abound!
Oh how can you roam so far from your home,
Where safety and comfort are found?
Come bring us the light of your presence,
Come give us the strength of your arm;
That we may once more see joy, as of yore,
Sit smiling upon the old farm.

Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003

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