by Archibald Lampman





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

With your hands that are softer than roses,                               5
    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,                                          10
And those feet whose impetuous patter
    I hear and remember in dreams;

With your manner of motherly duty,
    When you play with your dolls and are wise;
With your wonders of speech, and the beauty                       15
    In your little imperious eyes;

When I hear you so silvery ringing
    Your welcome from chamber or stair,
When you run to me, kissing and clinging,
    So radiant, so rosily fair;                                                      20

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