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Frederick Locker-Lampson (Фредерик Локер-Лэмпсон)

The Cradle

Aye, here is your cradle!  Why surely, my Jenny,
   Such slender dimensions go somewhat to show
You were an exceedingly small pic-a-ninny
   Some nineteen or twenty short summers ago.

Your baby-days flow’d in a much-troubled channel;
   I see you as then in your impotent strife,—
A tight little bundle of wailing and flannel,
   Perplex’d with that newly-found fardel called life.

To hint at an infantine frailty’s a scandal;
   All bye-gones are bye-gones—and somebody knows
It was bliss such a baby to dance and to dandle,
   Your cheeks were so velvet—so rosy your toes.

Aye, here is your cradle! and Hope, a bright spirit,
   With Love now is watching beside it, I know;
They guard o’er the nest you yourself did inherit
   Some nineteen or twenty short summers ago.

It is Hope gilds the future, Love welcomes it smiling;
   Thus wags this old world, therefore stay not to ask,—
“My future bids fair, is my future beguiling?”
   If mask’d, still it pleases, then raise not its mask.

Is life a poor coil some would gladly be doffing?
   He is riding post-haste who their wrongs will adjust;
For at most ’tis a footstep from cradle to coffin,—
   From a spoonful of pap to a mouthful of dust.

Then smile as your future is smiling, my Jenny!
   I see you, except for that infantine woe,
Scarce changed since you were but a small pic-a-ninny,—
   Your cheek is still velvet—pray what is your toe?

Aye, here is your cradle! much, much to my liking,
   Though nineteen or twenty long winters have sped;
But, hark! as I’m talking there’s six o’clock striking,
   It is time Jenny’s Baby should be in its bed!

Frederick Locker-Lampson's other poems:
  1. The Old Clerk
  2. The Widow’s Mite
  3. The Russet Pitcher
  4. Phœbe, the Nymph of the Well
  5. A Wish

Poems of another poets with the same name (Стихотворения других поэтов с таким же названием):

  • Henry Dobson (Генри Добсон) The Cradle ("HOW steadfastly she worked at it!")

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