Variations and reduced versions of this poem are to be found on the Internet usually related to a temperance theme and all are described as anonymous. This seems to be the original from which the rest are drawn and it does have a recognised source.
Impartial Reporter. April 1 1915.
THAT LITTLE CHAP OF MINE.
I know I’m just an ordinary, easy going cuss,
‘Bout the common run of men, no better an’ no wuss.
I can’t lay claim to anything as far as looks may ago,
An’ when it comes to learning, why, I don’t stand any show.
But there must be something more in me than other folks can see,
‘Cause I’ve got a little chap at home that thinks a heap of me.
I’ve had my ups and downs in life as most folks have, I guess,
An,’ taken all in all, I couldn’t brag of much success,
But it braces up a feller and it tickles him to know
There’s someone that takes stock in him, no matter how things go,
An’ when I get the worst of it, I’m proud as I kin be
To know that little chap of mine still thinks a heap of me.
To feel his little hand in mine, so trusting and so warm,
To know he thinks I’m strong enough to keep him from all harm,
To see his loving faith and all that I can say or do
That sort of shames a feller, but it makes them better too,
An’ so I try to be the man he fancies me to be,
Just ‘cause that little chap of mine, he thinks a heap of me.
I wouldn’t disappoint his trust for anything on earth,
Or let him know how little I just naturally, am worth,
And after all, it’s easy up the better road to climb,
With a little hand to help you on an’ guide you all the time.
And I reckon I’m a better man than what I used to be,
Since I’ve got a little chap at home that thinks a heap of me.
Ida Goldsmith Morris.