Choosing a Name by Charles and Mary Lamb

I have got a new-born sister;
I was nigh the first that kissed her.
When the nursing-woman brought her
To papa, his infant daughter,
How papa’s dear eyes did glisten!
She will shortly be to christen:
And papa has made the offer,
I shall have the naming of her.

Now I wonder what would please her,
Charlotte, Julia, or Louisa?
Ann and Mary, they’re too common;
Joan’s too formal for a woman;
Jane’s a prettier name beside;
But we had a Jane that died.
They would say, if ’twas Rebecca,
That she was a little Quaker.
Edith’s pretty, but that looks
Better in old English books;
Ellen’s left off long ago;
Blanche is out of fashion now.
None that I have named as yet
Is so good as Margaret.
Emily is neat and fine.
What do you think of Caroline?
How I’m puzzled and perplexed
What to choose or think of next!
I am in a little fever
Lest the name that I should give her
Should disgrace her or defame her,
I will leave papa to name her.

Charles Lamb and Mary Lamb
1775 — 1834 and 1764 — 1847

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About Russell Boyle

Russell Boyle is a mathematics teacher, writer, and poet. His poetry anthologies are titled The Beginning, Footprints and Loneliness. Russell is the author of the Year 7 to 8 Mathematics Short-Answer Tasks, the Year 7 to 10 Mathematics Multiple-Choice Tasks, the Year 9 to 10 Extended-Response Tasks, the solutions to the Year 12 VCAA Mathematics Exams and the Web-Programming For Beginners series of courses. Sample poems and questions may be downloaded from http://russellboyle.com
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