My Grandfather’s Clock


Henry C. Work


My grandfather's clock was too large for the shelf
So it stood ninety years on the floor
It was taller by half than the old man himself
Though it weighed not a pennyweight more
It was bought on the morn of the day that he was born
And was always his treasure and pride but it stopped short
Never to go again when the old man died


Ninety years without slumbering, tick, tock, tick, tock,
His life seconds numbering tick, tock, tick, tock,
It stopped short, never to go again
When the old man died

In watching its pendulum swing to and fro
Many hours had he spent while a boy
And in childhood and manhood the clock seemed to know
And to share both his grief and his joy
For it struck twenty-four when he entered at the door
With a blooming and beautiful bride, but it stopped short…


My grandfather said that of those he could hire
Not a servant so faithful could be found
For it wasted no time and had but one desire
At the end of each week to be wound
And it kept in its place not a frown upon its face
And its hand never hung by its side, but it stopped short…

It rang an alarm, in the dead of the night
An alarm that for years had been dumb
And we knew that his spirit was pluming for flight
That his hour of departure had come
Still the clock kept the time
With a soft and muffled chime
As we silently stood by his side, but it stopped short…