To My Daughter Ida, When Three Months Old Poem by Thomas Cowherd

To My Daughter Ida, When Three Months Old

Ida, it is a burning shame
That thy short, sweet poetic name
Has not a single lay called forth
From my cranium since thy birth!
Thy pale-face, brown-eyed style of beauty
Every day points out my duty.
Conscience, too, whispers 'tis not right
That I this task should longer slight.
So now I take thee on my knee
And woo the Muse right eagerly,
In earnest hope she'll lend her aid
Until this tribute be well paid.

Ida, thou art of babes the best;
This much at least must be confessed,
Unless thy mother's words are wrong-
Words shadowing forth Affection strong.
Thou art indeed, sweet tempered pet,
As good a child as I have met.
And oh, my heart for thee' has bled,
When thou wert forced to be spoon-fed,
Because of Mamma's trying weakness.
Yet this thou didst still bear with meekness,
And ever from the first thy cries
Had for companions tearful eyes,
And such a mournful, piteous mien
As is not in bad temper seen.
When I saw this thou may'st be sure,
I felt quite ready to endure
Thy tediousness by night or day,
While mother on a sick-bed lay.
Now, as reward for all my toil,
Thou cheerest me by many a smile.
And while I gaze on thy sweet face
Bedecked with every infant grace,
My soul's best feelings are called Forth-
I see in thee increasing worth.

Say, sweetly smiling, pretty creature,
So perfect in each limb and feature,
What means that dreamy sort of look
Thou wear'st at times? Art thou then struck
With wonder at our household ways?
At brother's, sister's childish plays?
I would give something just to know
How thoughts within the mind can grow.
I fancy sometimes thou art thinking
On what's around thee or else drinking
Thou fill of heavenly visions sweet,
Such as would prove to me a treat:
Art silent still? Ah, then, young Miss,
Thou must eve'n give a parting kiss!
Farewell, my dear, my lovely child,
Fair Ida, with the look so mild!

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