Etude Realiste

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B821336196Z.1_20130723144231_000_G3211I5UT.2_ContentHappy news, yesterday, with Prince William and Kate announcing the birth of their son.

I  love the way Swinburne captures the utter wonder and fascination that parents feel holding their newborn!  It is good to be reminded of the pure joy of such rare moments.

Etude Realiste
by Algernon Charles Swinburne

A Baby’s feet, like sea-shells pink,
Might tempt, should heaven see meet,
An angel’s lips to kiss, we think,
A baby’s feet.

Like rose-hued sea-flowers toward the heat
They stretch and spread and wink
Their ten soft buds that part and meet.

No flower-bells that expand and shrink
Gleam half so heavenly sweet
As shine on life’s untrodden brink
A baby’s feet.

II.

A baby’s hands, like rosebuds furled
Whence yet no leaf expands,
Ope if you touch, though close upcurled,
A baby’s hands.

Then, fast as warriors grip their brands
When battle’s bolt is hurled,
They close, clenched hard like tightening bands.

No rosebuds yet by dawn impearled
Match, even in loveliest lands,
The sweetest flowers in all the world –
A baby’s hands.

III.

A baby’s eyes, ere speech begin,
Ere lips learn words or sighs,
Bless all things bright enough to win
A baby’s eyes.

Love, while the sweet thing laughs and lies,
And sleep flows out and in,
Sees perfect in them Paradise.

Their glance might cast out pain and sin,
Their speech make dumb the wise,
By mute glad godhead felt within
A baby’s eyes.

Algernon Charles Swinburne (1837 – 1909) was an English poet, playwright and novelist.

And lest we get too sentimental…

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