Caroline Elizabeth Sarah Norton

Here you will find the Poem On Seeing Anthony, The Eldest Child Of Lord And Lady Ashley of poet Caroline Elizabeth Sarah Norton

On Seeing Anthony, The Eldest Child Of Lord And Lady Ashley


IT was a fair and gentle child 
Stood leaning by his mother's knee; 
His noble brow was smooth and mild-- 
His eyes shone bright with frolic glee-- 
And he was stately, though so young; 
As from a noble lineage sprung. 

So, gazing on him, as we gaze, 
Upon a bud, whose promise yet 
Lies shut from all the glowing rays 
Which afterwards illumine it: 
I marvell'd what the fruit might be 
When that fair plant became a tree. 

Ah! then, what dreams of proud success, 
That lordly brow of beauty brought, 
With all its infant stateliness, 
And all its unripe power of thought! 
What triumphs, boundless, unconfined, 
Came crowding on my wand'ring mind! 

I gave that child, the voice might hold 
A future senate in command; 
Head clear and prompt--heart true and bold-- 
As quick to act as understand: 
I dream'd the scholar's fame achieved-- 
The hero's wreath of laurel weaved! 

But as I mused, a whisper came 
Which (like a friend's reproachful tone, 
Whose gentleness can smite with shame 
Far more than fiercest word or frown 
Roused my vex'd conscience by its spell, 
And thus the whisper'd warning fell:-- 

'Ah! let the shrouded future be, 
With all its weight of distant care! 
Cloud not with dreams of vanity 
That blue bright eye, and forehead fair! 
Nor cast thy worldly hopes and fears 
In shadow o'er his happy years! 

'Desire not, even in thy dreams, 
To hasten those remoter hours 
Which, bright although their promise seems, 
Must strip his spring-time of its flowers!-- 
What triumph, in the time to come, 
Shall match these early days of home? 

'This is the Eden of his life,-- 
His little heart bounds glad and free: 
Amid a world of toil and strife, 
All independent smileth he! 
Nor dreams by that sweet mother's side 
Of dark Ambition's restless pride. 

'But, like a bird in winter,--still 
Fill'd with a sweet and natural joy, 
Tho' frost lies bleak upon the hill, 
And mists obscure the cold grey sky, 
Which sings, tho' on a leafless bough,-- 
He smiles, even at the gloomiest brow!' 

Oh! looking a child's fair face 
Methinks should purify the heart; 
As angel presences have grace 
To bid the darker powers depart, 
And glorify our grosser sense 
With a reflected innocence! 

And seeing thee, thou lovely boy, 
My soul, reproach'd, gave up its schemes 
Of worldly triumph's heartless joy, 
For purer and more sinless dreams, 
And mingled in my farewell there 
Something of blessing and of prayer.