Verse > Anthologies > Henry Charles Beeching, ed. > Lyra Sacra
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Henry Charles Beeching, ed. (1859–1919).  Lyra Sacra: A Book of Religious Verse.  1903.
 
The Toys
By Coventry Patmore (1823–1896)
 
MY little son, who look’d from thoughtful eyes,
And moved and spoke in quiet grown-up wise,
Having my law the seventh time disobey’d,
I struck him, and dismiss’d
With hard words and unkiss’d,        5
His mother, who was patient, being dead.
Then fearing lest his grief should hinder sleep,
I visited his bed,
But found him slumbering deep,
With darken’d eyelids, and their lashes yet        10
From his late sobbing wet,
And I with moan,
Kissing away his tears, left others of my own;
For, on a table drawn beside his head,
He had put, within his reach,        15
A box of counters, and a red-vein’d stone,
A piece of glass abraded by the beach,
And six or seven shells,
A bottle with bluebells,
And two French copper coins, ranged there with careful art,        20
To comfort his sad heart.
 
So when that night I pray’d
To God, I wept, and said:—
Ah, when at last we lie with trancèd breath,
Not vexing Thee in death,        25
And Thou rememberest of what toys
We made our joys,
How weakly understood
Thy great commanded good,
Then Fatherly not less        30
Than I whom Thou hast moulded from the clay,
Thou’lt leave Thy wrath and say,
“I will be sorry for their childishness.”
 
 
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