Frederick Locker-Lampson

To My Grandmother

Suggested by a Picture by Mr. Romney)Under the elm a rustic seat
Was merriest Susan's pet retreat
To merry-make.
This Relative of mine
Was she seventy-and-nine
When she died?
By the canvas may be seen
How she look'd 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 dropt 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
Overprest,
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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Frederick Locker-Lampson