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A Farewell

Rating: 3.0

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:
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Ruth Hamill 10 September 2020
65 years ago, my mother wrote this poem (second half) in my autograph book and I never really understood it. I was 11 or 12 and was just glad to have her handwriting because she died all too soon of cancer when I was 12. It makes more sense to see it in context with other's remarks. I appreciate it all the more now and will be sure to pass it on when my grandsons have daughters (soon I hope!) . The sentiment is beautiful.
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Rajnish Manga 11 August 2020
Sweet and lovely advice from a father to his loving daughter. Quite inspiring. Thanks.
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N Wright 17 December 2019
This poem is in the book " Best Loved Poems of the American People" by HAZEL FELLEMAN.I have had this book of poems for nearly 50 years-it is a treasure! My grandmother used to recite this poem me.
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Chris Yexley 27 June 2019
A primary school teacher wrote the first line of this in my autograph book over 50 years ago, and I have only just by accident found it’s source! At the time I was very upset, I didn’t want to be good, but to be clever! I’ve always remembered it and have spent my life ignoring the advice!
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Captain Clegg 20 January 2019
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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Patricia Jones 01 January 2019
My late Mum wrote this poem in my autograph book when I was quite young,Words that touch the heart.
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Jan gilmour 08 February 2019
My mum did exactly the same and I still have my autograph book with it in now passing it on to my lovely great granddaughter Isobella for her memories box for when she is eighteen we will be gone by then
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Barbara May 19 December 2018
What terrible dispiriting advice to a clever girl. Typical Victorian paternalistic drivel.
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Captain Clegg 20 January 2019
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
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Joe Fogey 29 November 2018
In my experience sweet maids can be both clever and good.
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Georgina 22 April 2018
In 1967 as I left for college my mom quoted two lines from this...I searched now and have tears...
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Angela Lavelle 11 March 2018
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.
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