To My Daughter On Her Birthday.

A poem by Thomas Hood

Dear Fanny! nine long years ago,
While yet the morning sun was low,
And rosy with the Eastern glow
The landscape smiled -
Whilst lowed the newly-waken'd herds -
Sweet as the early song of birds,
I heard those first, delightful words,
"Thou hast a Child!"

Along with that uprising dew
Tears glisten'd in my eyes, though few,
To hail a dawning quite as new
To me, as Time:
It was not sorrow - not annoy -
But like a happy maid, though coy,
With grief-like welcome even Joy
Forestalls its prime.

So mayst thou live, dear! many years,
In all the bliss that life endears,
Not without smiles, nor yet from tears
Too strictly kept:
When first thy infant littleness
I folded in my fond caress,
The greatest proof of happiness
Was this - I wept.

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