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Poem by Frederick Locker-Lampson

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 flowd in a much-troubled channel;
   I see you as then in your impotent strife,
A tight little bundle of wailing and flannel,
   Perplexd with that newly-found fardel called life.

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

Aye, here is your cradle! and Hope, a bright spirit,
   With Love now is watching beside it, I know;
They guard oer 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 maskd, 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 velvetpray 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 Im talking theres six oclock striking,
   It is time Jennys Baby should be in its bed!

Frederick Locker-Lampson

Frederick Locker-Lampson's other poems:
  1. The Old Oak-Tree at Hatfield Broadoak
  2. My Firstborn
  3. Phœbe, the Nymph of the Well
  4. St Georges, Hanover Square
  5. The Old Clerk

Poems of the other poets with the same name:

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

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