Verse > Anthologies > > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse
Arthur Quiller-Couch, comp.  The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse.  1922.
To My Grandmother
By Frederick Locker-Lampson (1821–1895)
(Suggested by a picture by Mr. Romney)

THIS relative of mine
Was she seventy and nine
  When she died?
By the canvas may be seen
How she looked at seventeen,        5
  As a bride.
Beneath a summer tree
As she sits, her reverie
  Has a charm;
Her ringlets are in taste,—        10
What an arm! and what a waist
  For an arm!
In bridal coronet,
Lace, ribbons, and coquette
  Falbala;        15
Were Romney’s limning true,
What a lucky dog were you,
Her lips are sweet as love,—
They are parting! Do they move?        20
  Are they dumb?—
Her eyes are blue, and beam
Beseechingly, and seem
  To say, ‘Come.’
What funny fancy slips        25
From atween these cherry lips?
  Whisper me,
Sweet deity, in paint,
What canon says I mayn’t
  Marry thee?        30
That good-for-nothing Time
Has a confidence sublime!
  When I first
Saw this lady, in my youth,
Her winters had, forsooth,        35
  Done their worst.
Her locks (as white as snow)
Once shamed the swarthy crow;
  By and by
That fowl’s avenging sprite        40
Set his cloven foot for spite
  In her eye.
Her rounded form was lean,
And her silk was bombazine:—
  Well I wot,        45
With her needles would she sit,
And for hours would she knit,—
  Would she not?
Ah, perishable clay!
Her charms had dropp’d away        50
  One by one.
But if she heaved a sigh
With a burthen, it was ‘Thy
  Will be done’.
In travail, as in tears,        55
With the fardel of her years
In mercy was she borne
Where the weary ones and worn
  Are at rest.        60
I’m fain to meet you there,—
If as witching as you were,
This nether world agrees
That the better it must please        65

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