Childhood Poems - Poems For Childhood
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Childhood - Poem by David Bates
Childhood, sweet and sunny childhood,
With its careless, thoughtless air,
Like the verdant, tangled wildwood,
Wants the training hand of care.
See it springing all around us --
Glad to know, and quick to learn;
Asking questions that confound us;
Teaching lessons in its turn.
Who loves not its joyous revel,
Leaping lightly on the lawn,
Up the knoll, along the level,
Free and graceful as a fawn?
Let it revel; it is nature
Giving to the little dears
Strength of limb, and healthful features,
For the toil of coming years.
He who checks a child with terror,
Stops its play, and stills its song,
Not alone commits an error,
But a great and moral wrong.
Give it play, and never fear it --
Active life is no defect;
Never, never break its spirit --
Curb it only to direct.
Would you dam the flowing river,
Thinking it would cease to flow?
Onward it must go forever --
Better teach it where to go.
Childhood is a fountain welling,
Trace its channel in the sand,
And its currents, spreading, swelling,
Will revive the withered land.
Childhood is the vernal season;
Trim and train the tender shoot;
Love is to the coming reason,
As the blossom to the fruit.
Tender twigs are bent and folded --
Art to nature beauty lends;
Childhood easily is moulded;
Manhood breaks, but seldom bends.
Comments about Childhood by David Bates
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Ode On Intimations Of Immortality From Recollections Of Early Childhood
The Child is father of the Man; And I could wish my days to be Bound each to each by natural piety. I There was a time when meadow, grove, and stream, The earth, and every common sight, To me did seem Apparelled in celestial light, The glory and the freshness of a dream. It is not now as it hath been of yore; - Turn wheresoe'er I may, By night or day, The things which I have seen I now can see no more. II The Rainbow comes and goes, And lovely is the Rose, The Moon doth with delight Look round her when the heavens are bare; Waters on a starry night Are beautiful and fair; The sunshine is a glorious birth; But yet I know, where'er I go, That there hath past away a glory from the earth. III Now, while the birds thus sing a joyous song, And while the young lambs bound As to the tabor's sound, To me alone there came a thought of grief: A timely utterance gave that thought relief, And I again am strong: The cataracts blow their trumpets from the steep; No more shall grief of mine the season wrong; I hear the Echoes through the mountains throng, The Winds come to me from the fields of sleep, And all the earth is gay; Land and sea Give themselves up to jollity, And with the heart of May Doth every Beast keep holiday; - Thou Child of Joy, Shout round me, let me hear thy shouts, thou happy Shepherd-boy! IV Ye blesse`d Creatures, I have heard the call Ye to each other make; I see The heavens laugh with you in your jubilee; My heart is at your festival, My head hath its coronal, The fulness of your bliss, I feel- I feel it all. Oh evil day! if I were sullen While the Earth herself is adorning, This sweet May-morning, And the Children are culling On every side, In a thousand valleys far and wide, Fresh flowers; while the sun shines warm, And the Babe leaps up on his Mother's arm:- I hear, I hear, with joy I hear! - But there's a Tree, of many, one, A single Field which I have looked upon, Both of them speak of something that is gone: The Pansy at my feet Doth the same tale repeat: Whither is fled the visionary gleam? Where is it now, the glory and the dream? V Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting: The Soul that rises with us, our life's Star, Hath had elsewhere its setting, And cometh from afar: Not in entire forgetfulness, And not in utter nakedness, But trailing clouds of glory do we come From God, who is our home: Heaven lies about us in our infancy! Shades of the prison-house begin to close Upon the growing Boy, But He beholds the light, and whence it flows, He sees it in his joy; The Youth, who daily farther from the east Must travel, still is Nature's Priest, And by the vision splendid Is on his way attended; At length the Man perceives it die away, And fade into the light of common day. VI Earth fills her lap with pleasures of her own; Yearnings she hath in her own natural kind, And, even with something of a Mother's mind, And no unworthy aim, The homely Nurse doth all she can To make her Foster-child, her Inmate Man, Forget the glories he hath known, And that imperial palace whence he came. VII Behold the Child among his new-born blisses, A six years' Darling of a pigmy size! See, where 'mid work of his own hand he lies, Fretted by sallies of his mother's kisses, With light upon him from his father's eyes! See, at his feet, some little plan or chart, Some fragment from his dream of human life, Shaped by himself with newly-learned art; A wedding or a festival, A mourning or a funeral; And this hath now his heart, And unto this he frames his song: Then will he fit his tongue To dialogues of business, love, or strife; But it will not be long Ere this be thrown aside, And with new joy and pride The little Actor cons another part; Filling from time to time his 'humorous stage' With all the Persons, down to palsied Age, That Life brings with her in her equipage; As if his whole vocation Were endless imitation. VIII Thou, whose exterior semblance doth belie Thy Soul's immensity; Thou best Philosopher, who yet dost keep Thy heritage, thou Eye among the blind, That, deaf and silent, read'st the eternal deep, Haunted for ever by the eternal mind,- Might Prophet! Seer blest! On whom those truths do rest, Which we are toiling all our lives to find, In darkness lost, the darkness of the grave; Thou, over whom thy Immortality Broods like the Day, a Master o'er a Slave, A Presence which is not to be put by; [To whom the grave Is but a lonely bed without the sense or sight Of day or the warm light, A place of thought where we in waiting lie; ] Thou little Child, yet glorious in the might Of heaven-born freedom on thy being's height, Why with such earnest pains dost thou provoke The years to bring the inevitable yoke, Thus blindly with thy blessedness at strife? Full soon thy Soul shall have her earthly freight, And custom lie upon thee with a weight, Heavy as frost, and deep almost as life! IX O joy! that in our embers Is something that doth live, That nature yet remembers What was so fugitive! The thought of our past years in me doth breed Perpetual benediction: not indeed For that which is most worthy to be blest; Delight and liberty, the simple creed Of Childhood, whether busy or at rest, With new-fledged hope still fluttering in his breast:- Not for these I raise The song of thanks and praise; But for those obstinate questionings Of sense and outward things, Fallings from us, vanishings; Blank misgivings of a Creature Moving about in worlds not realised, High instincts before which our mortal Nature Did tremble like a guilty Thing surprised: But for those first affections, Those shadowy recollections, Which, be they what they may, Are yet the fountain-light of all our day, Are yet a master-light of all our seeing; Uphold us, cherish, and have power to make Our noisy years seem moments in the being Of the eternal Silence: truths that wake, To perish never; Which neither listlessness, nor mad endeavor, Nor Man nor Boy, Nor all that is at enmity with joy, Can utterly abolish or destroy! Hence in a season of calm weather Though inland far we be, Our Souls have sight of that immortal sea Which brought us hither, Can in a moment travel thither, And see the Children sport upon the shore, And hear the mighty waters rolling evermore. X Then sing, ye Birds, sing, sing a joyous song! And yet the young Lambs bound As to the tabor's sound! We in thought will join your throng, Ye that pipe and ye that play, Ye that through your hearts to-day Feel the gladness of the May! What though the radiance which was once so bright Be now for ever taken from my sight, Though nothing can bring back the hour Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower; We will grieve not, rather find Strength in what remains behind; In the primal sympathy Which having been must ever be; In the soothing thoughts that spring Out of human suffering; In the faith that looks through death, In years that bring the philosophic mind. XI And O, ye Fountains, Meadows, Hills, and Groves, Forebode not any severing of our loves! Yet in my heart of hearts I feel your might; I only have relinquished one delight To live beneath your more habitual sway. I love the Brooks which down their channels fret, Even more than when I tripped lightly as they; The innocent brightness of a new-born Day Is lovely yet; The Clouds that gather round the setting sun Do take a sober colouring from an eye That hath kept watch o'er man's mortality; Another race hath been, and other palms are won. Thanks to the human heart by which we live, Thanks to its tenderness, its joys, and fears, To me the meanest flower that blows can give Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears. [comp. 1802-1804(?): publ. 1807]
It would be good to give much thought, before you try to find words for something so lost, for those long childhood afternoons you knew that vanished so completely -and why? We're still reminded-: sometimes by a rain, but we can no longer say what it means; life was never again so filled with meeting, with reunion and with passing on as back then, when nothing happened to us except what happens to things and creatures: we lived their world as something human, and became filled to the brim with figures. And became as lonely as a sheperd and as overburdened by vast distances, and summoned and stirred as from far away, and slowly, like a long new thread, introduced into that picture-sequence where now having to go on bewilders us.
My Childhood Home I See Again
I My childhood's home I see again, And sadden with the view; And still, as memory crowds my brain, There's pleasure in it too. O Memory! thou midway world 'Twixt earth and paradise, Where things decayed and loved ones lost In dreamy shadows rise, And, freed from all that's earthly vile, Seem hallowed, pure, and bright, Like scenes in some enchanted isle All bathed in liquid light. As dusky mountains please the eye When twilight chases day; As bugle-tones that, passing by, In distance die away; As leaving some grand waterfall, We, lingering, list its roar-- So memory will hallow all We've known, but know no more. Near twenty years have passed away Since here I bid farewell To woods and fields, and scenes of play, And playmates loved so well. Where many were, but few remain Of old familiar things; But seeing them, to mind again The lost and absent brings. The friends I left that parting day, How changed, as time has sped! Young childhood grown, strong manhood gray, And half of all are dead. I hear the loved survivors tell How nought from death could save, Till every sound appears a knell, And every spot a grave. I range the fields with pensive tread, And pace the hollow rooms, And feel (companion of the dead) I'm living in the tombs. II But here's an object more of dread Than ought the grave contains-- A human form with reason fled, While wretched life remains. Poor Matthew! Once of genius bright, A fortune-favored child-- Now locked for aye, in mental night, A haggard mad-man wild. Poor Matthew! I have ne'er forgot, When first, with maddened will, Yourself you maimed, your father fought, And mother strove to kill; When terror spread, and neighbors ran, Your dange'rous strength to bind; And soon, a howling crazy man Your limbs were fast confined. How then you strove and shrieked aloud, Your bones and sinews bared; And fiendish on the gazing crowd, With burning eye-balls glared-- And begged, and swore, and wept and prayed With maniac laught[ter?] joined-- How fearful were those signs displayed By pangs that killed thy mind! And when at length, tho' drear and long, Time smoothed thy fiercer woes, How plaintively thy mournful song Upon the still night rose. I've heard it oft, as if I dreamed, Far distant, sweet, and lone-- The funeral dirge, it ever seemed Of reason dead and gone. To drink it's strains, I've stole away, All stealthily and still, Ere yet the rising God of day Had streaked the Eastern hill. Air held his breath; trees, with the spell, Seemed sorrowing angels round, Whose swelling tears in dew-drops fell Upon the listening ground. But this is past; and nought remains, That raised thee o'er the brute. Thy piercing shrieks, and soothing strains, Are like, forever mute. Now fare thee well--more thou the cause, Than subject now of woe. All mental pangs, by time's kind laws, Hast lost the power to know. O death! Thou awe-inspiring prince, That keepst the world in fear; Why dost thos tear more blest ones hence, And leave him ling'ring here?
Childhood - The 21st Century
How advanced they are, these children of the future, Like small adults, within their tiny frames, They grow up in a fast 'speed driven' culture, Where 'learning pressures' change their kind of games, Where is their childhood, in all this hurly burly, Where is their pure untainted view of things, Why do they have to grow so old, so early, And lose the joy that only childhood brings. Our childhood was filled with thoughts of joy and gladness, We lived our lives, oblivious to the world And all the hardships, wars, the grief and sadness, We stood, waiting for our lives to be unfurled. We had time to grow, and gain an understanding, Of each new phase, each change along the way, As we grew slowly, our senses all expanding, So with clarity, we slowly changed our play. We had a framework on which to build and flourish, Slow and steady, this was no rushed affair, Taking each step, then step by step to nourish, Our childhood, so finally adulthood we would share. What will become, of these 'New Century' learners, I doubt if they, a dreamy childhood see, Will they then tell to all those bright discerners Of their own, how they remembered their childhood to be.