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

Advertisements
Posted in Lamb Charles, Lamb Mary | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ae Fond Kiss by Robert Burns

Ae fond kiss, and then we sever;
Ae fareweel, and then forever!
Deep in heart-wrung tears I’ll pledge thee,
Warring sighs and groans I’ll wage thee.

Who shall say that Fortune grieves him,
While the star of hope she leaves him?
Me, nae cheerfu’ twinkle lights me;
Dark despair around benights me.

I’ll ne’er blame my partial fancy,
Naething could resist my Nancy;
But to see her was to love her;
Love but her, and love forever.

Had we never lov’d sae kindly,
Had we never lov’d sae blindly,
Never met—or never parted—
We had ne’er been broken-hearted.

Fare thee weel, thou first and fairest!
Fare thee weel, thou best and dearest!
Thine be ilka joy and treasure,
Peace. enjoyment, love, and pleasure!

Ae fond kiss, and then we sever;
Ae fareweel, alas, forever!
Deep in heart-wrung tears   I’ll pledge thee,
Warring sighs and groans I’ll wage thee!

Robert Burns
1759 — 1796

Posted in Burns Robert | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ode on the Whole Duty of Parents by Frances Cornford

The spirits of children are remote and wise,
They must go free
Like fishes in the sea
Or starlings in the skies,
Whilst you remain
The shore where casually they come again.
But when there falls the stalking shade of fear,
You must be suddenly near,
You, the unstable, must become a tree
In whose unending heights of flowering green
Hangs every fruit that grows, with silver bells;
Where heart-distracting magic birds are seen
And all the things a fairy-story tells;
Though still you should possess
Roots that go deep in ordinary earth,
And strong consoling bark
To love and to caress.

Last, when at dark
Safe on the pillow lies an up-gazing head
And drinking holy eyes
Are fixed on you,
When, from behind them, questions come to birth
Insistently,
On all the things that you have ever said
Of suns and snakes and parallelograms and flies,
And whether these are true,
Then for a while you’ll need to be no more
That sheltering shore
Or legendary tree in safety spread,
No, then you must put on
The robes of Solomon,
Or simply be
Sir Isaac Newton sitting on the bed

Frances Cornford
1886 — 1960

Posted in Cornford Frances | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Childhood by Frances Cornford

I used to think that grown-up people chose
To have stiff backs and wrinkles round their nose,
And veins like small fat snakes on either hand,
On purpose to be grand.
Till through the banister I watched one day
My great-aunt Etty’s friend who was going away,
And how her onyx beads had come unstrung.
I saw her grope to find them as they rolled;
And then I knew that she was helplessly old,
As I was helplessly young.

Frances Cornford
1886 — 1960

Posted in Cornford Frances | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

After the Lunch by Wendy Cope

On Waterloo Bridge, where we said our goodbyes,
the weather conditions bring tears to my eyes.
I wipe them away with a black woolly glove
And try not to notice I’ve fallen in love.

On Waterloo Bridge I am trying to think:
This is nothing, you’re high on the charm and the drink.
But the juke-box inside me is playing a song
That says something different. And when was it wrong?

On Waterloo Bridge with the wind in my hair
I am tempted to skip. You’re a fool. I don’t care.
the head does its best but the heart is the boss —
I admit it before I am halfway across.

Wendy Cope

Posted in Cope Wendy | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

On Children by Kahlil Gibran

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts.
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
 which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The Archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
 and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the Archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
 so He loves also the bow that is stable.

Kahlil Gibran
1883 — 1931

Posted in Gibran Kahlil | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Imitated From The Welch by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

If, while my passion I impart,
You deem my words untrue,
O place your hand upon my heart —
Feel how it throbs for you!

Ah no! reject the thoughtless claim
In pity of your Lover!
That thrilling touch would aid the flame
It wishes to discover.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge
1772 — 1834

Posted in Coleridge Samuel Taylor | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment