The Poetical Works of Thomas Hood, by Thomas Hood

To My Daughter

On Her Birthday.

Dear Fanny! nine long years ago,

While yet the morning sun was low,

And rosy with the Eastern glow

The landscape smiled —

Whilst lowed the newly-waken’d herds —

Sweet as the early song of birds,

I heard those first, delightful words,

“Thou hast a Child!”

Along with that uprising dew

Tears glisten’d in my eyes, though few,

To hail a dawning quite as new

To me, as Time:

It was not sorrow — not annoy —

But like a happy maid, though coy,

With grief-like welcome even Joy

Forestalls its prime.

So mayst thou live, dear! many years,

In all the bliss that life endears,

Not without smiles, nor yet from tears

Too strictly kept:

When first thy infant littleness

I folded in my fond caress,

The greatest proof of happiness

Was this — I wept.

Written at Ostend in September 1839.

Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 11:55