To Alfred, Just Learning To Walk - Poem by Thomas Cowherd
O, Alfred dear, thou wilt, I fear,
Get burned before 'tis long;
Thy little tricks with fiery sticks
Have called forth this my song.
That roguish eye seems to defy
All I can say or do.
Thy chubby face does not disgrace
The food thou art used to.
Come now, my boy, thy skill employ
In walking to Papa;
Well, now, my child, I own I smiled
To see thee choose thy Ma.
But still I will that thou fulfill
My just commands to thee;
Sometime I shall soon make thee squall
For disobeying me!
And now a walk or else some talk
I do insist upon;
But mind that chair or thou wilt fare
Not cry well, my son!
Thy limbs are strong, so don't be long,
Nor mind that little mountain;
Ah, down he goes! and out there flows
Big tear-drops from their fountain.
Fear not, my son, thou hast well done;
I'll wipe thy tears away,
And lie in hopes on Life's rough slopes
Thou wilt not go astray.
Now come again, I can't refrain
From tuning one more trial;
Don't stagger on so woe-begone,
But use some self-denial.
Thou wilt have need if thou succeed
In life, to use it often,
And I have found in moving round
It does life's trials soften.
Mind thou the stove! nor further rove,
For fear thou get a burning
Let not thine eyes in such surprise
Upon thy Pa be turning.
See, there at last thou hast got past
The dangers which beset thee,
So in my arms, proud of thy charms,
I'll hug thee if thou let me.
I fain would hope that thou wilt cope
With ills besetting mortals,
Depending on God's Arm alone,
And so reach Heaven's portals.
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