To My Daughter

O little one, daughter, my dearest,
With your smiles and your beautiful curls,
And your laughter, the brightest and clearest,
O graves and gayest of girls;

With your hands that are softer than roses,
And your lips that are lighter than flowers,
And that innocent brow that discloses
A wisdom more lovely than ours;

With your locks that encumber, or scatter
In a thousand mercurial gleams,
And those feet whose impetuous patter
I hear and remember in dreams;

With your manner of motherly duty,
When you play with dolls and are wise;
With your wonders of speech, and the beauty
In your little imperious eyes;

When I hear you so silverly ringing
Your welcome from chamber or stair.
When you run to me, kissing and clinging,
So radiant, so rosily fair;

I bend like an ogre above you;
I bury my face in your curls;
I fold you, I last you, I love you.
O baby, queen-blossom of girls!


By Archibald Lampman

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