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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. To My Grandmother
  2. The Garter
  3. My Mistress's Boots
  4. The Castle in the Air
  5. O Tempora Mutantur!

Poems of the other poets with the same name:

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

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