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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
The Toys
By Coventry Patmore (1823–1896)
 
      MY little son, who looked from thoughtful eyes
        And moved and spoke in quiet grown-up wise,
      Having my law the seventh time disobeyed,
            I struck him, and dismissed
            With hard words and unkissed,—        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 darkened 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-veined 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 prayed
              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 molded from the clay,
              Thou’lt leave thy wrath, and say,
      “I will be sorry for their childishness.”
 
 
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