John Liddell Kelly

Here you will find the Poem Heredity of poet John Liddell Kelly


More than a fleshly immortality 
   Is mine. Though I myself return again 
   To dust, my qualities of heart and brain, 
Of soul and spirit, shall not cease to be. 
I view them growing, day by day, in thee, 
   My first-begotten son; I trace them plain 
   In you, my daughters; and I count it gain 
Myself renewed and multiplied to see. 

But sadness mingles with my selfish joy, 
   At thought of what you may be called to bear. 
Oh, passionate maid! Oh, glad, impulsive boy! 
   Your father's sad experience you must share -- 
Self-torture, the unfeeling world's annoy, 
   Gross pleasure, fierce exultance, grim despair!