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Frederick Locker-Lampson (Фредерик Локер-Лэмпсон)

To My Grandmother

Suggested by a picture by Mr. Romney

THIS Relative of mine,
Was she seventy-and-nine
    When she died? 
By the canvas may be seen
How she looked at seventeen,
    As a bride.

Beneath a summer tree
Her maiden reverie
    Has a charm; 
Her ringlets are in taste;
What an arm! and what a waist
    For an arm!

With her bridal-wreath, bouquet,
Lace farthingale, and gay
If Romney's touch be true,
What a lucky dog were you,

Her lips are sweet as love;
They are parting! Do they move?
    Are they dumb? 
Her eyes are blue and beam
Beseechingly, and seem
    To say, "Come!"

What funny fancy slips
From atween these cherry lips?
    Whisper me, 
Fair Sorceress in paint,
What canon says I mayn't
    Marry thee?

That good-for-nothing Time
Has a confidence sublime!
    When I first 
Saw this Lady, in my youth,
Her winters had, forsooth,
    Done their worst.

Her locks, as white as snow,
Once shamed the swarthy crow;
    By and by 
That fowl's avenging sprite
Set his cruel foot for spite
    Near her eye.

Her rounded form was lean,
And her silk was bombazine;
    Well I wot 
With her needles would she sit,
And for hours would she knit--
    Would she not?

Ah perishable clay!
Her charms had dropped away
    One by one; 
But if she heaved a sigh
With a burthen, it was, "Thy
    Will be done."

In travail, as in tears,
With the fardel of her years
In mercy she was borne
Where the weary and the worn
    Are at rest.

Oh, if you now are there,
And sweet as once you were,
This nether world agrees
You'll all the better please

Frederick Locker-Lampson's other poems:
  1. The Old Clerk
  2. The Widow’s Mite
  3. The Cradle
  4. The Russet Pitcher
  5. A Word That Makes Us Linger

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