My Little Son

A lovely poem by Coventry Patmore, which speaks for itself.


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.

His mother, who was patient, being dead.

Then, fearing hlest his grief should hinder sleep,

I visited his bed,

But found him slumbering deep,

With darken’d eyelids, and his lashes yet

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,

A box of counters and a red-veined stone,

A piece of glass abraided from the beach.


And six or seven shells

A bottle with bluebells

And two French copper coins,

Ranged there with careful art,

To comfort his sad heart.

So, when that night I pray’d

To God, I wept, and said:

Ah, when we lie at last with tranced breath,

Not vexing Thee in death,

And Thou rememberest of what toys

We made our joys,

How weakly understood

They great commanded good,

Then, fatherly not less

Than I whom Thou has moulded from the clay,

Thou’lt leave Thy wrath, and say,

“I will be sorry for their childishness.”

Love in my Master’s Name;


Fr Des Smit