My Children (Howard)

"My Children" is one of Robert E. Howard's grim comic poems, taken from a December 1928 letter to Tevis Clyde Smith:

Now God be thanked that gave me flesh and thew
And passed them down to my own brood— my word,
Forgive me if my sinful pride be stirred—
They make a sightly and a buxom crew.
Fair, round-limbed girls and stout broad-shouldered boys,
All firm of flesh and ruddy-cheeked and fine—
My Lord, forgive this vanity of mine—
What man but sight of his own brood enjoys?
I know the blood that courses in their veins,
The flesh that laps their bones so softly round.
And when their voices lift their soft refrains,
My heart with undue rapture leaps and bounds.
As who would not who owns such dainties—Cook!
An onion roast I’ll have today and look,
My four year old yes’t-een was tough as sin!
Look to it when you cook the second twin.
Lord, Lord, forgive my fond and foolish pride!
The youngest girl, methinks, had best be fried!