Only a Dad
…but the best of men
Only a dad, with a tired face,
Coming home from the daily race;
Bringing little of gold and fame
To show how well he has played the game,
But glad in his heart that his own rejoice
To see him come home and to hear his voice.
Only a dad, of a brood of four,
One of ten million men or more,
Plodding along in the daily strife,
Bearing the whips and scorns of life
With never a whimper of pain or hate,
For the sake of those who at home await.
Only a dad, neither rich nor proud,
Merely one of the surging crowd,
Toiling, striving, from day to day,
Facing whatever may come his way;
Silent, whenever the harsh condemn,
And bearing it all for the love of them.
Only a dad, but he gives his all
To smooth the way for his children small;
Doing, with courage stern and grim,
The deeds that his father did for him.
These are the lines that for him I pen;
Only a dad, but the best of men.
Edgar Albert Guest
I first came across this poem way back in 1976. President Spencer W. Kimball read it in a General Conference meeting, and I remembered thinking ‘that’s my dad’. It was my dad, and it was also millions of other dads the world over.
Some five years later my father was in hospital after being diagnosed with a terminal illness. I wanted to give him a card, but it had to have a special message. Finding such a card was an impossible task, but then I recalled President Kimball’s talk, and knew what had to be done. I found some pretty decorated writing paper, copied the poem onto it as carefully as I could, and slipped it inside a blank card.
I can’t tell you how touched he was when he read it. He stopped every passing nurse and made each one of them read it, and then he passed it to my mum and asked her to have it framed.
It hung on their bedroom wall for over 25 years, until my mother passed away in 2007. The frame is now a little worse for wear, but the words still tug at the heart-strings…that’s my dad.
To dad’s everywhere, have a wonderful Father’s Day!
You hold a unique place in every son and daughter’s heart.