I was thinking a bit about my dad this morning and a phrase he’d often use popped into my head. I knew it was a line or two from a poem, but I couldn’t recall more than that. Google, my old and well-informed friend, helped me out and I spent a few happy moments reading while I sipped my coffee. It was also a sweet reminder of my dad, who must have been that happy barefoot boy in his youth.
I’ve posted only the first stanza; it’s a long poem, but if you remain interested and care to read more, Google will be happy to give you a hand.
The Barefoot Boy
by John Greenleaf Whittier
Blessings on thee, little man,
Barefoot boy, with cheek of tan!
With thy turned-up pantaloons,
And thy merry whistled tunes;
With thy red lip, redder still
Kissed by strawberries on the hill;
With the sunshine on thy face,
Through thy torn brim’s jaunty grace;
From my heart I give thee joy,—
I was once a barefoot boy!
Prince thou art,—the grown-up man
Only is republican.
Let the million-dollared ride!
Barefoot, trudging at his side,
Thou hast more than he can buy
In the reach of ear and eye,—
Outward sunshine, inward joy:
Blessings on thee, barefoot boy!