To Anna Three Years Old

My Anna, summer laughs in mirth,
And we will of the party be,
And leave the crickets in the hearth
For green fields' merry minstrelsy.

I see thee now with little hand
Catch at each object passing bye,
The happiest thing in all the land
Except the bee and butterfly.

* * * * *

And limpid brook that leaps along,
Gilt with the summer's burnished gleam,
Will stop thy little tale or song
To gaze upon its crimping stream.

Thou'lt leave my hand with eager speed
The new discovered things to see--
The old pond with its water weed
And danger-daring willow tree,
Who leans an ancient invalid
Oer spots where deepest waters be.

In sudden shout and wild surprise
I hear thy simple wonderment,
As new things meet thy childish eyes
And wake some innocent intent;

As bird or bee or butterfly
Bounds through the crowd of merry leaves
And starts the rapture of thine eye
To run for what it neer achieves.

But thou art on the bed of pain,
So tells each poor forsaken toy.
Ah, could I see that happy hour
When these shall be thy heart's employ,
And see thee toddle oer the plain,
And stoop for flowers, and shout for joy.

4 comments:

Arevanye said...

Do tell me that the story behind this poem turns out well!

"But thou art on the bed of pain,
So tells each poor forsaken toy."

This poem reminds me of that one by William Wordsworth, here are a few of the stanzas:

THREE YEARS SHE GREW IN SUN AND SHOWER

THREE years she grew in sun and shower,
Then Nature said, "A lovelier flower
On earth was never sown;
This Child I to myself will take;
She shall be mine, and I will make
A Lady of my own.

"Myself will to my darling be
Both law and impulse: and with me
The Girl, in rock and plain,
In earth and heaven, in glade and bower,
Shall feel an overseeing power
To kindle or restrain.

"She shall be sportive as the fawn
That wild with glee across the lawn,
Or up the mountain springs;
And her's shall be the breathing balm,
And her's the silence and the calm
Of mute insensate things.
Unfortunately, his poem ends sadly too!

Thus Nature spake--The work was done--
How soon my Lucy's race was run!
She died, and left to me
This heath, this calm, and quiet scene;
The memory of what has been,
And never more will be.
I hope his Anna got better...

Roger R. said...

Do tell me that the story behind this poem turns out well!

"But thou art on the bed of pain,
So tells each poor forsaken toy."

Wish I knew. But that is all there is. Nice to meet you!

Arevanye said...

Probably all the more poignant because we don't know the outcome, I guess...

(But you have met me before, you know....through IM'ing with Amatire/Sæuðr.)

Anonymous said...

A reading of John Clare's poetry will take place by the portico outside All Saints Church, Northampton,where he sat when he walked in from the hospital in Billing Road.
Taking place on National Poetry Day 7th October at 7pm. Light a candle for John Clare.
Peter Mulligan.
Project co-ordinator
Tel. 01604-715793
pmcelt@aol.com