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A poem by Edgar A. Guest

When Father Shook The Stove

Title:     When Father Shook The Stove
Author: Edgar A. Guest [More Titles by Guest]

'Twas not so many years ago,
Say, twenty-two or three,
When zero weather or below
Held many a thrill for me.
Then in my icy room I slept
A youngster's sweet repose,
And always on my form I kept
My flannel underclothes.
Then I was roused by sudden shock
Though still to sleep I strove,
I knew that it was seven o'clock
When father shook the stove.

I never heard him quit his bed
Or his alarm clock ring;
I never heard his gentle tread,
Or his attempts to sing;
The sun that found my window pane
On me was wholly lost,
Though many a sunbeam tried in vain
To penetrate the frost.
To human voice I never stirred,
But deeper down I dove
Beneath the covers, when I heard
My father shake the stove.

To-day it all comes back to me
And I can hear it still;
He seemed to take a special glee
In shaking with a will.
He flung the noisy dampers back,
Then rattled steel on steel,
Until the force of his attack
The building seemed to feel.
Though I'd a youngster's heavy eyes
All sleep from them he drove;
It seemed to me the dead must rise
When father shook the stove.

Now radiators thump and pound
And every room is warm,
And modern men new ways have found
To shield us from the storm.
The window panes are seldom glossed
The way they used to be;
The pictures left by old Jack Frost
Our children never see.
And now that he has gone to rest
In God's great slumber grove,
I often think those days were best
When father shook the stove.

[The end]
Edgar A. Guest's poem: When Father Shook The Stove