Samuel Taylor Coleridge

(1772-1834 / Devon / England)

On The Christening Of A Friend's Child


This day among the faithful placed,
And fed with fontal manna,
O with maternal title graced
Dear Anna's dearest Anna!--

While others wish thee wise and fair,
A maid of spotless fame,
I'll breathe this more compendious prayer--
May'st thou deserve thy name!

Thy mother's name--a potent spell,
That bids the virtues hie
From mystic grove and living cell
Confess'd to fancy's eye;--

Meek quietness without offence;
Content in homespun kirtle;
True love; and true love's innocence,
White blossom of the myrtle!

Associates of thy name, sweet child!
These virtues may'st thou win;
With face as eloquently mild
To say, they lodge within.

So, when her tale of days all flown,
Thy mother shall be mist here;
When Heaven at length shall claim its own,
And angels snatch their sister;

Some hoary-headed friend, perchance,
May gaze with stifled breath;
And oft, in momentary trance,
Forget the waste of death.

Ev'n thus a lovely rose I view'd,
In summer-swelling pride;
Nor mark'd the bud, that green and rude
Peep'd at the rose's side.

It chanced, I pass'd again that way
In autumn's latest hour,
And wond'ring saw the selfsame spray
Rich with the selfsame flower.

Ah, fond deceit! the rude green bud
Alike in shape, place, name,
Had bloom'd, where bloom'd its parent stud,
Another and the same!

Submitted: Wednesday, March 31, 2010

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