Charles Kingsley

(12 June 1819 – 23 January 1875 / Devon, England)

A Farewell - Poem by Charles Kingsley


My fairest child, I have no song to give you;
No lark could pipe to skies so dull and grey:
Yet, ere we part, one lesson I can leave you
For every day.


Be good, sweet maid, and let who will be clever;
Do noble things, not dream them, all day long:
And so make life, death, and that vast for-ever
One grand, sweet song.

Topic(s) of this poem: farewell

Comments about A Farewell by Charles Kingsley

  • (1/20/2019 3:43:00 PM)

    What's the occasion of the parting?

    The advice is almost like the idea (I think echoed by Nietzsche?) that one should live one's life as though crafting a work of art. Difficult to do on a monday morning in January, when everyone is being grumpy... But not a bad idea
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  • (1/1/2019 3:37:00 PM)

    My late Mum wrote this poem in my autograph book when I was quite young,Words that touch the heart. (Report) Reply

  • (12/19/2018 3:46:00 PM)

    What terrible dispiriting advice to a clever girl. Typical Victorian paternalistic drivel. (Report) Reply

    (1/20/2019 3:37:00 PM)

    I must say your ideological bias is so subtle! Almost impossible to detect, forsooth. And so unusual, so original! All extremely welcome in a discussion of a poem is that enough sarcasm? I think so

  • (11/29/2018 3:05:00 AM)

    In my experience sweet maids can be both clever and good. (Report) Reply

  • (4/22/2018 9:42:00 PM)

    In 1967 as I left for college my mom quoted two lines from this...I searched now and have tears... (Report) Reply

  • (3/11/2018 2:50:00 PM)

    My mum used to recite this to my sister and me as we headed off to school every morning. Now I recite it to my daughter. (Report) Reply

  • Amar Agarwala (2/25/2017 6:44:00 PM)

    I find this poem more of an elegy... sweet and short. (Report) Reply

  • Ranak Zaman (2/25/2017 6:30:00 AM)

    beautiful poem. I liked it. thank you. (Report) Reply

  • (2/25/2017 5:48:00 AM)

    a beautifully given advice poem? rings true to day! (Report) Reply

  • Indira Renganathan (2/25/2017 4:34:00 AM)

    A good advice from a good father...but it stirs one's heart as it sounds dolorous too....a touching poem (Report) Reply

  • Edward Kofi Louis (2/25/2017 1:45:00 AM)

    Sweet maid! ! Thanks for sharing this poem with us. (Report) Reply

  • Bernard F. Asuncion (2/25/2017 12:54:00 AM)

    One lesson i can give you.... thanks for sharing... (Report) Reply

    (1/1/2019 9:56:00 AM)

    I love this poem which my mother always wrote for us as a keep sake I now have to write for my lovely just one year old great grand daughter her parents are collecting a memory's box for when she is eighteen we will not be there to see this but feel this poem is how we would have said to her about her future

  • (2/24/2016 2:40:00 PM)

    Never mind your wishes
    Just go and wash the dishes
    (Don't know how to correct the errors this iPad insists upon making)
    (Report) Reply

  • (2/24/2016 2:35:00 PM)

    Let me defend the dreamer. For me this is a poem counsel of despair:
    (Report) Reply

  • Mohammed Asim Nehal (2/16/2016 2:36:00 PM)

    Sweet song, indeed....enjoyed your farewell note, (Report) Reply

  • Susan Williams (12/18/2015 1:49:00 PM)

    The greatest wish a father could have for his child- that the child live his morals not merely mouth them (Report) Reply

  • Rajnish Manga (12/18/2015 11:11:00 AM)

    In a very simple yet lovely style the poet has put across the message of Christmas in this poem.
    Do noble things, not dream them, all day long:
    And so make life..... One grand, sweet song.
    (Report) Reply

  • Sossi Khachadourian (12/14/2014 12:09:00 PM)

    Do noble things, not dream them, all day long:
    How kind words and precious advice!
    (Report) Reply

  • (12/14/2014 9:48:00 AM)

    A great message for doing good things and likes the poem. (Report) Reply

  • (12/14/2014 12:27:00 AM)

    I agree with the part on doing good being a great song.......but don't we have to dream good things in order to do good things.... (Report) Reply

Read all 38 comments »

# 288 poem on top 500 Poems

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3,0 / 5 ( 113 votes ) 36

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Read poems about / on: song, child, dream, death, farewell, life, sky, children

Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003

Poem Edited: Wednesday, January 7, 2015

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