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C.D. Warner, et al., comp. The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

To My Grandmother

By Frederick Locker-Lampson (1821–1895)

Suggested by a Picture by Mr. Romney

THIS relative of mine—

Was she seventy-and-nine

When she died?

By the canvas may be seen

How she looked at seventeen,—

As a bride.

Beneath a summer tree

As she sits, her revery

Has a charm;

Her ringlets are in taste,—

What an arm! and what a waist

For an arm!

In bridal coronet,

Lace, ribbons, and coquette


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 between these cherry lips?

Whisper me,

Sweet deity in paint,

What canon says I mayn’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 shamed the swarthy crow.


That fowl’s avenging sprite

Set his cloven foot for spite

In 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 dropped away

One by one.

But if she heaved a sigh

With a burthen, it was, “Thy

Will be done.”

In travail, as in tears,

With the fardel of her years


In mercy was she borne

Where the weary ones and worn

Are at rest.

I’m fain to meet you there;—

If as witching as you were,


This nether world agrees

That the better it must please