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BABYHOOD
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[ Also see Babies Birth Birthday Childhood Children Infancy Love Matrimony Motherhood Simplicity Wives Women Youth ]

Have you not heard the poets tell
  How came the dainty Baby Bell
    Into this world of ours?
      - Thomas Bailey Aldrich, Baby Bell

Oh those little, those little blue shoes!
  Those shoes that no little feet use.
    Oh, the price were high
      That those shoes would buy,
        Those little blue unused shoes!
      - William Cox Bennett, Baby's Shoes

Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.
      - Bible, Psalms (ch. VIII, v. 2)

Rock-bye-baby on the tree top,
  When the wind blows the cradle will rock.
    When the bough bends the cradle will fall,
      Down comes the baby, cradle and all.
      - Charles Dupee Blake

Sweet babe, in thy face
  Soft desires I can trace,
    Secret joys and secret smiles,
      Little pretty infant wiles.
      - William Blake, A Cradle Song

A babe at the breast is as much pleasure as the bearing is pain.
      - Marion Zimmer Bradley

Look! how he laughs and stretches out his arms,
  And opens wide his blue eyes upon thine,
    To hail his father; while his little form
      Flutters as winged with joy. Talk not of pain!
        The childless cherubs well might envy thee
          The pleasures of a parent.
      - Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron),
        Cain (act III, sc. I, l. 171)

He smiles, and sleeps!--sleep on
  And smile, thou little, young inheritor
    Of a world scarce less young: sleep on and smile!
      Thine are the hours and days when both are cheering
        And innocent!
      - Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron),
        Cain (act III, sc. I, l. 24)

How lovely he appears! his little cheeks
  In their pure incarnation, vying with
    The rose leaves strewn beneath them.
      And his lips, too,
        How beautifully parted! No; you shall not
          Kiss him; at least not now; he will wake soon--
            His hour of midday rest is nearly over.
      - Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron),
        Cain (act III, sc. I. l. 24)

There came to port last Sunday night
  The queerest little craft,
    Without an inch of rigging on;
      I looked and looked--and laughed.
        It seemed so curious that she
          Should cross the unknown water,
            And moor herself within my room--
              My daughter! O my daughter!
      - George Washington Cable, The New Arrival

Lo! at the couch where infant beauty sleeps;
  Her silent watch the mournful mother keeps;
    She, while the lovely babe unconscious lies,
      Smiles on her slumbering child with pensive eyes.
      - Thomas Campbell, Pleasures of Hope
         (pt. I, l. 225)

He is so little to be so large!
  Why, a train of cars, or a whale-back barge
    Couldn't carry the freight
      Of the monstrous weight
        Of all of his qualities, good and great.
          And tho' one view is as good as another
            Don't take my word for it. Ask his mother!
      - Edmund Vance Cooke, The Intruder

"The hand that rocks the cradle"--but there is no such hand.
  It is bad to rock the baby, they would have us understand;
    So the cradle's but a relic of the former foolish days,
      When mothers reared their children in unscientific ways;
        When they jounced them and they bounced them, those poor dwarfs of long ago--
          The Washingtons and Jeffersons, you know.
      - ascribed to Bishop George Washington Doane

When you fold your hands, Baby Louise!
  Your hands like a fairy's, so tiny and fair,
    With a pretty, innocent, saintlike air,
      Are you trying to think of some angel-taught prayer
        You learned above, Baby Louise.
      - Margaret Eytinge, Baby Louise

Baloo, baloo, my wee, wee thing.
      - Richard Gall, Cradle Song

The morning that my baby came
  They found a baby swallow dead,
    And saw a something hard to name
      Fly mothlike over baby's bed.
      - Ralph Hodgson, The Swallow

What is the little one thinking about?
  Very wonderful things, no doubt;
    Unwritten history!
      Unfathomed mystery!
        Yet he laughs and cries, and eats and drinks,
          And chuckles and crows, and nods and winks,
            As if his head were as full of kinks
              And curious riddles as any sphinx!
      - Josiah Gilbert Holland (used pseudonym Timothy Titcomb),
        Bitter-Sweet--First Movement (l. 6)

God one morning, glad of heaven,
  Laughed--and that was you!
      - William Brian Hooker, A Little Person

When the baby dies,
  On every side
    Rose stranger's voices, hard and harsh and loud.
      The baby was not wrapped in any shroud.
        The mother made no sound. Her head was bowed
          That men's eyes might not see
            Her misery.
      - Helen Hunt Jackson (Helen Hunt),
        When the Baby Died

Sweet is the infant's waking smile,
  And sweet the old man's rest--
    But middle age by no fond wile,
      No soothing calm is blest.
      - John Keble,
        Christian Year--St. Philip and St. James
         (st. 3)

Suck, baby! suck! mother's love grows by giving:
  Drain the sweet founts that only thrive by wasting!
    Black manhood comes when riotous guilty living
      Hands thee the cup that shall be death in tasting.
      - Charles Lamb (used pseudonym Elia),
        The Gypsy's Malison,
        a sonnet in a letter to Mrs. Procter

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."
      - Frederick Locker-Lampson, Little Dinky

A tight little bundle of wailing and flannel,
  Perplex'd with the newly found fardel of life.
      - Frederick Locker-Lampson, The Old Cradle

O child! O new-born denizen
  Of life's great city! on thy head
    The glory of morn is shed,
      Like a celestial benison!
        Here at the portal thou dost stand,
          And with thy little hand
            Thou openest the mysterious gate
              Into the future's undiscovered land.
      - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, To a Child

A baby was sleeping,
  Its mother was weeping.
      - Samuel Lover, Angel's Whisper


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