TO PAUL, EIGHTEEN MONTHS OLD.
WHAT am I to sing of you,
Sturdy, fat, and rosy Paul ?
Pit-a-pat you toddle through Every room with footsteps small, Like a sailor on the ocean, Staggering with a rolling motion.
Midmost in your moony face (Things I jumble small and large). Sprouts your nose's rounded grace, Like the boss on Highland targe, Sure the one your visage shows is Tiniest of earthly noses !
Close about your baby pate Hair of polished russet hue Glistens Quaker-prim and straight..
Up you come, as me you view, Stand a.s still as mouse, while I Brush it deft and tenderly.
House-door open do you find, Straight adventure forth you must ;- Lo, a wicked, wandering wind, Blowing with a boisterous gnat, Takes your petticoats, and plump Down you it with sudden hump I No one watching, off you trot, Bound, with solemn business face, To the staircase, well I wot, Of dangerous place. Then you laugh, because you know You are wrong in doing so. Soon your favourite box you spy ;— That's your pulpit, up you crawl, Stand and babble there till I Picture you a preacher small, Uttering most ambiguous views To imaginary pews !
Sometimes, all intent, the law Of your little world you try ;— Watch the future of a straw, Trace a feather's destiny. What new instincts in you stir, Tiny, quaint philosopher P 0 my busy, serious Paul, Footing ceaseless to and fro, Can it be a head so small Teems with thoughts I may not know, Questioning with those grave eyes Life's young, budding mysteries P