“They tie you down,” a woman said,
Whose cheeks should have been flaming red
With shame to speak of children so.
“When babies come you cannot go
In search of pleasure with your friends,
And all your happy wandering ends.
The things you like you cannot do,
For babies make a slave of you.”
I looked at her and said: “’Tis true
That children make a slave of you,
And tie you down with many a knot,
But have you never thought to what
It is of happiness and pride
That little babies have you tied?
Do you not miss the greater joys
That come with little girls and boys?
“They tie you down to laughter rare,
To hours of smiles and hours of care,
To nights of watching and to fears;
Sometimes they tie you down to tears
And then repay you with a smile,
And make your troubles all worth while.
They tie you fast to chubby feet
And cheeks of pink and kisses sweet.
“They fasten you with cords of love
To God divine, who reigns above.
They tie you, whereso’er you roam,
Unto a little place called home;
And over sea or railroad track
They tug at you to bring you back.
The happiest people in the town
Are those the babies have tied down.
“Oh, go your selfish way and free
But hampered I would rather be
Yes rather than a kingly crown
I would be, what you term, tied down;
Tied down to dancing eyes and charms
Held fast by chubby, dimpled arms,
The fettered slave of girl and boy,
And win from them earth’s finest joy.”
-Edgar A. Guest