Home  »  Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical  »  Babe—Babyhood

C.N. Douglas, comp. Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical. 1917.


Fragile beginnings of a mighty end.

Mrs. Norton.

Incipient beings.


A babe is a mother’s anchor.


A link between angels and men.


Heaven lies about us in our infancy!


Of all the joys that brighten suffering earth, what joy is welcomed like a new-born child?

Mrs. Norton.

As living jewels dropped unstained from heaven.


  • A tight little bundle of wailing and flannel,
  • Perplex’d with the newly found fardel of life.
  • Fred. Locker.

    A sweet new blossom of humanity, fresh fallen from God’s own home to flower on earth.

    Gerald Massey.

  • Bent o’er her babe, her eye dissolved in dew;
  • The big drops, mingling with the milk he drew.
  • John Langhorne.

    The little babe up in his arms he bent, who with sweet pleasure and bold blandishment ’gan smile.


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

  • Hush, my dear, lie still and slumber,
  • Holy angels guard thy bed!
  • Heavenly blessings without number
  • Gently falling on thy head.
  • Watts.

  • But what am I?
  • An infant crying in the night:
  • An infant crying for the light:
  • And with no language but a cry.
  • Tennyson.

    A babe in a house is a well-spring of pleasure, a messenger of peace and love, a resting-place for innocence on earth, a link between angels and men.


    The coarsest father gains a new impulse to labor from the moment of his baby’s birth; he scarcely sees it when awake, and yet it is with him all the time. Every stroke he strikes is for his child. New social aims, new moral motives, come vaguely up to him.

    T. W. Higginson.

  • Sweet sleep, with soft down
  • Weave thy brows an infant crown!
  • Sweet sleep, angel mild,
  • Hover o’er my happy child.
  • William Blake.

    It is curious to see how a self-willed, haughty girl, who sets her father and mother and all at defiance, and can’t be managed by anybody, at once finds her master in a baby. Her sister’s child will strike the rock and set all her affections flowing.

    Charles Buxton.

    Good Christian people, here lies for you an inestimable loan;—take all heed thereof, in all carefulness employ it:—with high recompense, or else with heavy penalty will it one day be required back.


  • 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.

  • Beat upon mine, little heart! beat, beat!
  • Beat upon mine! you are mine, my sweet!
  • All mine from your pretty blue eyes to your feet,
  • My sweet!
  • Tennyson.

  • 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.

    Welcome to the parents the puny struggler, strong in his weakness, his little arms more irresistible than the soldier’s, his lips touched with persuasion which Chatham and Pericles in manhood had not. His unaffected lamentations when he lifts up his voice on high, or, more beautiful, the sobbing child—the face all liquid grief, as he tries to swallow his vexation,—soften all hearts to pity, and to mirthful and clamorous compassion.


  • Her beads while she numbered,
  • The baby still slumbered,
  • And smiled in her face, as she bended her knee;
  • Oh! bless’d be that warning,
  • My child, thy sleep adorning,
  • For I know that the angels are whispering with thee.
  • Samuel Lover.

  • O child! O new-born denizen
  • Of life’s great city! on thy head
  • The glory of the 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.
  • Longfellow.

  • 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.
  • Byron.

  • 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!
  • J. G. Holland.

  • 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.
  • Byron.

  • 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!
  • Byron.

    It is well for us that we are born babies in intellect. Could we understand half what mothers say and do to their infants, we should be filled with a conceit of our own importance, which would render us insupportable through life. Happy the boy whose mother is tired of talking nonsense to him before he is old enough to know the sense of it.