Meta Sorting

Wait Till Your Pa Comes Home

Author of work:
Edgar Albert Guest
'Wait till your Pa comes home!' Oh, dear!What a dreadful threat for a boy to hear.Yet never a boy of three or fourBut has heard it a thousand times or more.'Wait till your Pa comes home, my lad,And see what you'll get for being bad,
'Wait till your Pa comes home, you scamp!You've soiled the walls with your fingers damp,You've tracked the floor with your muddy feetAnd fought with the boy across the street;You've torn your clothes and you look a sight!But wait till your Pa comes home to-night.'
Now since I'm the Pa of that daily threatWhich paints me as black as a thing of jetI rise in protest right here to sayI won't be used in so fierce a way;No child of mine in the evening gloamShall be afraid of my coming home.
I want him waiting for me at nightWith eyes that glisten with real delight;When it's right that punished my boy should beI don't want the job postponed for me;I want to come home to a round of joyAnd not to frighten a little boy.
'Wait till your Pa comes home!' Oh, dear,What a dreadful threat for a boy to hear.Yet that is ever his Mother's wayOf saving herself from a bitter day;And well she knows in the evening gloamHe won't be hurt when his Pa comes home.

About the author

Edgar Albert Guest photo
Edgar Albert Guest
974 works

About the poet

Edgar Albert Guest was a British-born American poet who became known as the People's Poet. His poems often had an inspirational and optimistic view of everyday life. Guest was born in Birmingham, England in 1881. In 1891, his family moved from England to Detroit, Michigan, where Guest lived until he died.

His first published poem first appeared in Detroit Free Pass, the biggest newspaper in Detroit in which he worked there as a copy boy and a reporter later, on 11 December 1898. In 1902 he became an American naturalized citizen. From his first published work in the Detroit Free Press until his death in 1959, Guest wrote approximately 11,000 poems. He was pretty popular in the US because of his light, optimistic style.

Edgar Albert Guest Nationality and his Early Life

In 1895, the year before Henry Ford took his first ride in a motor carriage, Eddie Guest signed on with the Free Press as a 13-year-old office boy. He stayed for 60 years.

In those six decades, Detroit underwent half a dozen identity changes, but Eddie Guest became a steadfast character on the changing scene.

Three years after he joined the Free Press, Guest became a cub reporter. He quickly worked his way through the labor beat -- a much less consequential beat than it is today -- the waterfront beat and the police beat, where he worked "the dog watch" -- 3 p.m. to 3 a.m.

By the end of that year -- the year he should have been completing high school -- Guest had a reputation as a scrappy reporter in a competitive town.

It did not occur to Guest to write in verse until late in 1898 when he was working as assistant exchange editor. It was his job to cull timeless items from the newspapers with which the Free Press exchanged papers for use as fillers. Many of the items were verses. Guest figured he might just as well write verse as clip it and submitted one of his own, a dialect verse, to Sunday editor Arthur Mosley. The Free Press was choosy about publishing the literary efforts of staff members and Guest, a 17-year-old dropout, might have been seen as something of an upstart. But Mosley decided to publish the verse, His verse ran on Dec. 11, 1898.

More contributions of verse and observations led to a weekly column, "Blue Monday Chat," and then a daily column, "Breakfast Table Chat."

Verse had always been part of Guest's writing, but he had more or less followed the workaday road of many newsmen for 10 years. In 1908, standing in the rain as the solitary mourner for one such journalist who had long since been forgotten and relegated to the newspaper's morgue, Guest resolved to escape that fate by becoming a specialist. From that day forward, nearly all of his writing was in meter and rhyme.

And readers loved it.

They asked where they could find collections of his folksy verses. Guest talked it over his younger brother Harry, a typesetter, and they bought a case of type. They were in the book publishing business.

After supper, Harry climbed the stairs to the attic to set Eddie's poetry. Harry could set as many as eight pages -- provided the verses didn't have too many "e's" in them -- before he had to print what he had and break up the forms for eight more pages. They printed 800 copies of a 136-page book, "Home Rhymes."

Two years later, in 1911 and still working in eight-page morsels, they printed "Just Glad Things," but upped the press order to 1,500 copies.

They escaped the limits of their type case with the third book, published in 1914, but Guest had some misgivings about the large press run -- 3,500 copies. It sold out in two Christmases.

More books followed, and before he was done Guest had filled more than 20. Sales ran into the millions and his most popular collection, "It Takes a Heap o' Livin'," sold more than a million copies by itself.

Guest's verses, originally clipped by exchange editors at other papers, went into syndication and he was carried by more than 300 newspapers. His popularity led to one of early radios longest-running radio shows, appearances on television, in Hollywood and in banquet halls and meeting rooms from coast to coast.

But Edgar A. Guest remained, at heart and in fact, a newspaper man. In 1939, he told "Editor & Publisher," "I've never been late with my copy and I've never missed an edition. And that's seven days a week." For more than 30 years, there was not a day that the Free Press went to press without Guest's verse on its pages. He worked for the Free Press for more than six decades. Thousands of Detroiters were born, grew up and had children of their own before a Free Press ever arrived at their homes without Guest's gentle human touch.

When Guest died in 1959, he was buried in Detroit's Woodlawn Cemetery.

Edgar Albert Guest Famous Poems

Guest was widely read throughout North America, and his sentimental, optimistic poems were in the same vein as the light verse of Nick Kenny, who wrote syndicated columns during the same decades. Guest's most famous poem is the oft-quoted Home.

'Erbert's H'Opinion, A Baby's Love, A Battle Prayer, A Bear Story, A Boost For Modern Methods are his poems. Please click heresee full poems.

England in 1881. In 1891, his family moved from England to Detroit, Michigan, where Guest lived unt
Show full text