Home  »  A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895  »  To My Grandmother

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

Frederick Locker-Lampson 1821–95

To My Grandmother

THIS relative of mine,

Was she seventy-and-nine

When she died?

By the canvas may be seen

How she look’d at seventeen,

As a bride.

Beneath a summer tree,

Her maiden reverie

Has a charm;

Her ringlets are in taste;

What an arm!… what a waist

For an arm!

With her bridal-wreath, bouquet,

Lace farthingale, and gay


Were Romney’s limning true,

What a lucky dog were you,


Her lips are sweet as love;

They are parting! Do they move?

Are they dumb?

Her eyes are blue, and beam

Beseechingly, and seem

To say, “Come!”

What funny fancy slips

From atween these cherry lips!

Whisper me,

Sweet sorceress in paint,

What canon says I may n’t

Marry thee?

That good-for-nothing Time

Has a confidence sublime!

When I first

Saw this lady, in my youth,

Her winters had, forsooth,

Done their worst.

Her locks, as white as snow,

Once sham’d the swarthy crow:


That fowl’s avenging sprite

Set his cruel foot for spite

Near her eye.

Her rounded form was lean,

And her silk was bombazine:

Well I wot

With her needles would she sit,

And for hours would she knit,—

Would she not?

Ah, perishable clay!

Her charms had dropp’d away

One by one;

But if she heav’d a sigh

With a burden, it was, “Thy

Will be done.”

In travail, as in tears,

With the fardel of her years


In mercy she was borne

Where the weary and worn

Are at rest.

Oh, if you now are there,

And sweet as once you were,


This nether world agrees

’T will all the better please