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 Falbala-- If Romney's touch be true, What a lucky dog were you, Grandpapa! 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 Overpressed, 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, Grandmamma, This nether world agrees You'll all the better please Grandpapa.
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