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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908). A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895. 1895.

Joseph Ashby-Sterry b. 1838

A Portrait

IN sunny girlhood’s vernal life

She caused no small sensation,

But now the modest English wife

To others leaves flirtation.

She ’s young still, lovely, debonair,

Although sometimes her features

Are clouded by a thought of care

For those two tiny creatures.

Each tiny, toddling, mottled mite

Asserts with voice emphatic,

In lisping accents, “Mite is right,”—

Their rule is autocratic:

The song becomes, that charm’d mankind,

Their musical narcotic,

And baby lips than Love, she’ll find,

Are even more despotic.

Soft lullaby when singing there,

And castles ever building,

Their destiny she’ll carve in air,

Bright with maternal gilding:

Young Guy, a clever advocate,

So eloquent and able!

A powder’d wig upon his pate,

A coronet for Mabel!