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FREDERICK LOCKER-LAMPSON
English poet
(1821 - 1895)

It is a good thing to read books, and need not be a bad thing to write them, but in any case, it is a pious thing to collect them.
      - [Books]

I recollect a nurse called Ann,
  Who carried me about the grass,
    And one fine day a fine young man
      Came up and kissed the pretty lass.
        She did not make the least objection.
          Thinks I, "Aha,
            When I can talk I'll tell Mama,"
              And that's my earliest recollection.
      - A Terrible Infant [Memory]

The hair she means to have is gold,
  Her eyes are blue, she's twelve weeks old,
    Plump are her fists and pinky.
      She fluttered down in lucky hour
        From some blue deep in yon sky bower--
          I call her "Little Dinky."
      - Little Dinky [Babyhood]

And now I hear its voice again,
  And still its message is of peace,
    It sings of love that will not cease,
      For me it never sings in vain.
      - The Cuckoo [Cuckoos]

It is an ugly world. Offend
  Good people, how they wrangle,
    The manners that they never mend,
      The characters they mangle.
        They eat, and drink, and scheme, and plod,
          And go to church on Sunday--
            And many are afraid of God--
              And more of Mrs. Grundy.
      - The Jester's Plea [World]

The time for Pen and Sword was when
  "My ladye fayre," for pity,
    Could tend her wounded knight, and then
      Grow tender at his ditty.
        Some ladies now make pretty songs,
          And some make pretty nurses:
            Some men are good for righting wrongs,
              And some for writing verses.
      - The Jester's Plea [Poetry]

A tight little bundle of wailing and flannel,
  Perplex'd with the newly found fardel of life.
      - The Old Cradle [Babyhood]

Lightly I sped when hope was high
  And youth beguiled the chase,--
    I follow, follow still: But I
      Shall never see her face.
      - The Unrealized Ideal [Disappointment]

Cinderella's lefts and rights
  To Geraldine's were frights,
    And I trow
      The damsel, deftly shod,
        Has dutifully trod
          Until now.
      - To My Mistress's Boots [Shoemaking]

Oh, where did hunter win
  So delicate a skin
    For her feet?
      You lucky little kid,
        You perished, so you did,
          For my sweet.
      - To My Mistress's Boots [Shoemaking]

The fairy stitching gleams
  On the sides and in the seams,
    And it shows
      That Pixies were the wags
        Who tipped these funny tags
          And these toes.
      - To My Mistress's Boots [Shoemaking]

"Vanitas vanitatum" has rung in the ears
  Of gentle and simple for thousands of years;
    The wail still is heard, yet its notes never scare
      Either simple or gentle from Vanity Fair.
      - Vanity Fair [Vanity]


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