- (Frederick Locker-Lampson)






Bramble-Rise


What changes greet my wistful eyes
In quiet little Bramble-Rise,
   Once fairest of its shire;
How alterd is each pleasant nook,
The dumpy church used not to look
   So dumpy in the spire.

This village is no longer mine;
And though the inn has changd its sign,
   The beer may not be stronger:
The river, dwindled by degrees,
Is now a brook,the cottages
   Are cottages no longer.

The thatch is slate, the plaster bricks,
The trees have cut their ancient sticks,
   Or else those sticks are stunted:
Im sure these thistles once grew figs,
These geese were swans, and once those pigs
   More musically grunted.

Where early reapers whistledshrill
A whistle may be noted still,
   The locomotives ravings.
New custom newer want begets
My bank of early violets
   Is now a bank ofsavings.

Ah! theres a face I know again,
Fair Patty trotting down the Lane
   To fetch a pail of water;
Yes, Patty! still I much suspect,
Tis not the child I recollect,
   But Patty, Pattys daughter!

And has she too outlivd the spells
Of breezy hills and silent dells,
   Where childhood loved to ramble?
Then life was thornless to our ken,
And, Bramble-Rise, thy hills were then
   A rise without a bramble.

Whence comes the change? twere easy told
How some grow wise and some grow cold,
   And all feel time and trouble;
And mouldy sages much aver
That if the Pasts a gossamer,
   The Future is a bubble.

So let it be, at any rate
My Fate is not the cruel Fate
   Which sometimes I have thought her:
My heart leaps up, and I rejoice
As falls upon my ear thy voice,
   My frisky little daughter.

Come hither, Puss, and perch on these
Your most unworthy Fathers knees,
   And try and tell himCan you?
Are Punch and Judy bits of wood?
Does Dolly boast of ancient blood,
   Or is it only bran new?

We talk sad stuff,and Bramble-Rise
Is lovely to the infants eyes,
   Whose doll is ever charming;
She does not weigh the pros and cons,
Her pigs still please, her geese are swans,
   Though more or less alarming!

O, mayst thou own, my winsome elf,
Some day a pet just like thyself,
   Her sanguine thoughts to borrow;
Content to use her brighter eyes,
Accept her childish ecstacies,
   And, need be, share her sorrow!

My wife, though life is called a jaunt,
In sadness rife, in sunshine scant,
Though mundane joys, the wisest grant,
   Have no enduring basis:
Tis something in this desert drear,
For thee so fresh, for me so sere,
To find in Puss, our daughter dear,
   A little cool oasis!






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