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Poem by Frederick Locker-Lampson


A Wish


To the south of the church, and beneath yonder yew,
   A pair of child-lovers Ive seen,
More than once were they there, and the years of the two,
   When added, might number thirteen.
 

They sat on the grave which had never a stone
   The name of the dead to determine,
It was Life paying Death a brief visitalone
   A notable text for a sermon.

They tenderly prattled,what was it they said?
   The turf on that hillock was new:
O! kennd ye, poor little ones, aught of the dead,
   Or could he be heedful of you?

I wish to believe, and believe it I must,
   That a father beneath them was laid:
I wish to believe,I will take it on trust,
   That father knew all that they said.

My Own, you are five, very nearly the age
   Of that poor little fatherless child;
And some day a true-love your heart will engage
   When on earth I my last may have smild.

Then visit my grave, like a good little lass,
   Whereer it may happen to be,
And if any daisies should peer through the grass,
   Be sure they are kisses from me.

And place not a stone to distinguish my name,
   For strangers and gossips to see,
But come with your lover as these lovers came,
   And talk to him gaily of me.

And while you are smiling, your father will smile
   Such a sweet little daughter to have:
But mind, O yes! mind you are merry the while
   I wish you to visit my grave.



Frederick Locker-Lampson


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


Poems of the other poets with the same name:

  • Matthew Arnold A Wish ("I ask not that my bed of death")
  • Hamlin Garland A Wish ("ALL day and many days I rode")
  • Edgar Guest A Wish ("I'd like to be a boy again, a care-free prince of joy again")

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