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Domestic Poems
by [?]

Thou darling of thy sire!
(Why, Jane, he’ll set his pinafore a-fire!)
Thou imp of mirth and joy!
In Love’s dear chain so strong and bright a link,
Thou idol of thy parents–(Drat the boy!
There goes my ink!)

Thou cherub–but of earth;
Fit playfellow for Fays, by moonlight pale,
In harmless sport and mirth,
(That dog will bite him if he pulls its tail!)
Thou human humming-bee, extracting honey
From ev’ry blossom in the world that blows,
Singing in Youth’s Elysium ever sunny,
(Another tumble!–that’s his precious nose!)

Thy father’s pride and hope!
(He’ll break the mirror with that skipping-rope!)
With pure heart newly stamp’d from Nature’s mint–
(Where did he learn that squint?)
Thou young domestic dove!
(He’ll have that jug off, with another shove!)
Dear nurseling of the hymeneal nest!
(Are those torn clothes his best?)
Little epitome of man!
(He’ll climb upon the table, that’s his plan!)
Touch’d with the beauteous tints of dawning life–
(He’s got a knife!)

Thou enviable being!
No storms, no clouds, in thy blue sky foreseeing,
Play on, play on,
My elfin John!
Toss the light ball–bestride the stick–
(I knew so many cakes would make him sick!)
With fancies, buoyant as the thistle-down,
Prompting the face grotesque, and antic brisk,
With many a lamb-like frisk,
(He’s got the scissors, snipping at your gown!)
Thou pretty opening rose!
(Go to your mother, child, and wipe your nose!)

Balmy and breathing music like the South,
(He really brings my heart into my mouth!)
Fresh as the morn, and brilliant as its star,–
(I wish that window had an iron bar!)
Bold as the hawk, yet gentle as the dove,–
(I’ll tell you what, my love,
I cannot write, unless he’s sent above!)


“Lullaby, oh, lullaby!”
Thus I heard a father cry,
“Lullaby, oh, lullaby!”
The brat will never shut an eye;
Hither come, some power divine!
Close his lids, or open mine!

“Lullaby, oh, lullaby!
What the devil makes him cry?
Lullaby, oh, lullaby!
Still he stares–I wonder why,
Why are not the sons of earth
Blind, like puppies, from the birth?”

“Lullaby, oh, lullaby!”
Thus I heard the father cry;
“Lullaby, oh, lullaby!
Mary, you must come and try!–
Hush, oh, hush, for mercy’s sake–
The more I sing, the more you wake!”

“Lullaby, oh, lullaby!
Fie, you little creature, fie!
Lullaby, oh, lullaby!
Is no poppy-syrup nigh?
Give him some, or give him all,
I am nodding to his fall!”

“Lullaby, oh, lullaby!
Two such nights, and I shall die!
Lullaby, oh, lullaby!
He’ll be bruised, and so shall I,–“
“How can I from bedposts keep,
When I’m walking in my sleep?”

“Lullaby, oh, lullaby!
Sleep his very looks deny–
Lullaby, oh, lullaby;
Nature soon will stupefy–
My nerves relax,–my eyes grow dim–
Who’s that fallen–me or him?”