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Poem by Thomas MacDonagh
Wishes for My Son, Born on Saint Cecilia’s Day, 1912
Now, my son, is life for you, And I wish you joy of it,— Joy of power in all you do, Deeper passion, better wit Than I had who had enough, Quicker life and length thereof, More of every gift but love. Love I have beyond all men, Love that now you share with me— What have I to wish you then But that you be good and free, And that God to you may give Grace in stronger days to live? For I wish you more than I Ever knew of glorious deed, Though no rapture passed me by That an eager heart could heed, Though I followed heights and sought Things the sequel never brought. Wild and perilous holy things Flaming with a martyr’s blood, And the joy that laughs and sings Where a foe must be withstood, Joy of headlong happy chance Leading on the battle dance. But I found no enemy, No man in a world of wrong, That Christ’s word of charity Did not render clean and strong— Who was I to judge my kind, Blindest groper of the blind? God to you may give the sight And the clear, undoubting strength Wars to knit for single right, Freedom’s war to knit at length, And to win through wrath and strife, To the sequel of my life. But for you, so small and young, Born on Saint Cecilia’s Day, I in more harmonious song Now for nearer joys should pray— Simpler joys: the natural growth Of your childhood and your youth, Courage, innocence, and truth: These for you, so small and young, In your hand and heart and tongue.
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