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"Philip, My King"

Cried him a greeting, and the lordly woods,
Waving lean arms of welcome one by one,
Cast down their russet cloaks and golden hoods,
And bid their dancing leaflets trip and run
Before the tender feet of this my son.

Therefore the sea's swift fire is in his veins,

And in his heart the glory of the sea;

Therefore the storm-wind shall his comrade be,
That strips the hills and sweeps the cowering plains.
October, shot with flashing rays and rains,

Inhabits all his pulses; he shall know

The stress and splendor of the roaring gales,

The creaking boughs shall croon him fairy tales,
And the sea's kisses set his blood aglow,
While in his ears the eternal bugles blow.




ON parent knees, a naked new-born child,
Weeping thou sat'st while all around thee smiled:
So live, that, sinking to thy life's last sleep,
Calm thou may'st smile, while all around thee weep.

William Jones (1746-1794]


"Who bears upon his baby brow the round and top of sovereignty.”

Look at me with thy large brown eyes,
Philip, my king!

Round whom the enshadowing purple lies

Of babyhood's royal dignities.

Lay on my neck thy tiny hand

With love's invisible scepter laden;

I am thine Esther to command

Till thou shalt find a queen-handmaiden,
Philip, my king.

O the day when thou goest a-wooing,
Philip, my king!

When those beautiful lips are suing,
And some gentle heart's bars undoing,
Thou dest enter, love-crowned, and there
Sittest love-glorified. Rule kindly,
Tenderly, over thy kingdom fair,

For we that love, ah! we love so blindly,
Philip, my king.

Up from thy sweet mouth,-up to thy brow,
Philip, my king!

The spirit that there lies sleeping now
May rise like a giant and make men bow
As to one heaven-chosen among his peers.
My Saul, than thy brethren taller and fairer,
Let me behold thee in future years!--

Yet thy head needeth a circlet rarer,
Philip, my king.

-A wreath not of gold, but palm. One day,
Philip, my king!

Thou too must tread, as we trod, a way
Thorny and cruel and cold and gray:

But march on, glorious,

Rebels within thee, and foes without,
Will snatch at thy crown.
Martyr, yet monarch! till angels shout,

As thou sittest at the feet of God victorious,
"Philip, the king!”

Dinah Maria Mulock Craik [1826-1887]


DRAW back the cradle curtains, Kate,
While watch and ward you're keeping,

Let's see the monarch in his state,

And view him while he's sleeping.
He smiles and clasps his tiny hand,
With sunbeams o'er him gleaming,-
A world of baby fairyland.

He visits while he's dreaming.

The King of the Cradle

Monarch of pearly powder-puff,

Asleep in nest so cosy,

Shielded from breath of breezes rough

By curtains warm and rosy:
He slumbers soundly in his cell,
As weak as one decrepid,

Though King of Coral, Lord of Bell,
And Knight of Bath that's tepid.

Ah, lucky tyrant! Happy lot!
Fair watchers without number,

Who sweetly sing beside his cot,
And hush him off to slumber;
White hands in wait to smooth so neat
His pillow when its rumpled--
A couch of rose leaves soft and sweet,
Not one of which is crumpled!

Will yonder dainty dimpled hand-
Size, nothing and a quarter-
E'er grasp a saber, lead a band
To glory and to slaughter?

Or, may I ask, will those blue eyes—
In baby patois, "peepers"-
E'er in the House of Commons rise,

And try to catch the Speaker's?

Will that smooth brow o'er Hansard frown,

Confused by lore statistic?

Or will those lips e'er stir the town

From pulpit ritualistic?

Will e'er that tiny Sybarite

Become an author noted?

That little brain the world's delight,
Its works by all men quoted?

Though rosy, dimpled, plump, and round

Though fragile, soft, and tender, Sometimes, alas! it may be found

The thread of life is slender!


A little shoe, a little glove

Affection never waning-
The shattered idol of our love
Is all that is remaining!

Then does one chance, in fancy, hear,
Small feet in childish patter,
Tread soft as they a grave draw near,
And voices hush their chatter;
'Tis small and new; they pause in fear,
Beneath the gray church tower,

To consecrate it with a tear,

And deck it with a flower.

Who can predict the future, Kate—
Your fondest aspiration!

Who knows the solemn laws of fate,
That govern all creation?

Who knows what lot awaits your boy

Of happiness or sorrow?

Sufficient for to-day is joy,

Leave tears, Sweet, for to-morrow!

Joseph Ashby-Sterry [18


So fair, so dear, so warm upon my bosom,
And in my hands the little rosy feet.

Sleep on, my little bird, my lamb, my blossom;
Sleep on, sleep on, my sweet.

What is it God hath given me to cherish,
This living, moving wonder which is mine-
Mine only? Leave it with me or I perish,
Dear Lord of love divine.

Dear Lord, 'tis wonderful beyond all wonder,
This tender miracle vouchsafed to me,
One with myself, yet just so far asunder
That I myself may see.

No Baby in the House

Flesh of my flesh, and yet so subtly linking
New selfs with old, all things that I have been
With present joys beyond my former thinking
And future things unseen.

There life began, and here it links with heaven,
The golden chain of years scarce dipped adown
From birth, ere once again a hold is given

And nearer to God's Throne.

Seen, held in arms and clasped around so tightly,—
My love, my bird, I will not let thee go.
Yet soon the little rosy feet must lightly
Go pattering to and fro.

Mine, Lord, all mine Thy gift and loving token.
Mine-yes or no, unseen its soul divine?

Mine by the chain of love with links unbroken,
Dear Saviour, Thine and mine.

John Arthur Goodchild [1851


No baby in the house, I know,
'Tis far too nice and clean.
No toys, by careless fingers strewn,
Upon the floors are seen.
No finger-marks are on the panes,
No scratches on the chairs;
No wooden men set up in rows,
Or marshaled off in pairs;
No little stockings to be darned,
All ragged at the toes;
No pile of mending to be done,
Made up of baby-clothes;
No little troubles to be soothed;
No little hands to fold;

No grimy fingers to be washed;

No stories to be told;


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