David Lewis Paget
If Only I'd Cared...
How did I lose you, I confess
It couldn’t be love, but carelessness,
I thought the years in their passing might
Be spent in caring, and bind us tight.
For I was there in the days untold
To watch your faltering steps unfold,
To see you when I came home at night
And rock your cradle in pure delight.
I lit the fires with a paper spill
Protecting you from the winter chill
And prayed for you to the Lord above
For sending his gentle sign of love.
I watched you form, I watched you grow
And sometimes had to be strict, I know,
But did whatever I could to guide
With the love that I felt for you, inside.
Then one day, off in the world you went
To the great adventure life had sent,
And still I followed you, day by day
In your youthful follies and wayward way.
And wasn’t I there when you came back home
With an open door from your urge to roam?
I tried to nurture the friend in you
As a father’s love has a need to do.
Then you had little ones of your own
And the years sped by, the children grown
You fought and struggled and did your best
Then you, like me had an empty nest.
But you grew bitter and full of doubt
And questioned what life was all about,
While I still offered a caring hand
In hopes that your grieving heart would mend.
I may be old and you’re not so young
Though still I was proud to call you son,
But now, for reasons I just can’t see
You seem to have turned your back on me.
Your cruel words, like a pointed dart
Have finally broken this old man’s heart,
I wouldn’t be feeling this bleak distress
If only I’d cared not more, but less.
8 April 2013
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(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
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William Butler Yeats
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