Three lovely boys who bear my name,
Have all upon me equal claim,
And seem to ask a rhyme from me-
A humble poet as you see.
James, Christopher and Alfred, dear,
You often do my spirit cheer,
Each in his own most charming way,
From hour to hour, from day to day.
James by his often tuneful mood,
And other things best understood
By a fond parent, at the time,
To he as sweet as music's chime.
In him, though young, my eye can trace
A something in his pretty face
Which shows strong passion lurks within
That childish breast-the fruit of sin.
I also think I truly see
A trait somewhat too miserly.
I may be wrong-I hope I am,
For 'twould be sad in my sweet lamb.

Then Chris, what must I say of him,
Who shows us many a little whim?
But with it all displays affection
For one so young in much perfection,
And can forget his sorrows all,
Though his young heart he filled with gall.
If but his mother seem to cry
he upward turns his bright brown eye,
And asks so earnestly a kiss
That we're compelled to love our Chris.

Once, dear child, O strange to tell,
From brother Willie's knee he fell
And sadly burned his little arm,
Which greatly filled us with alarm.
He cried, as might have been expected,
And quick relief was not neglected.
But while his heart was fit to burst,
He spied a wound on Mamma's hand,
And though his own w as far the worst,
The sight of Hers he could not stand.
He ceased his crying, gave a sigh,
'Poor Mamma's sore,' [Footnote: A literal fact] became his cry.
My darling child, this act of thine
Makes me right glad to call thee mine.

But I must hasten; one remains
Who well deserves my ablest strains.
This is my Alfred-lovely babe
A smiling cherub sure art thou,
How can I best describe thy charms?
How can I write about thee now?
Nearly four months have passed away
Since thou first saw the light of day;
And in that time we've hardly had
One tedious night with thee, my lad.
By day thy chirruping and smiles
Thy own dear mother's heart beguiles,
And makes me run a dreadful risk
Of falling to idolatry!
But let me tell thee, little Frisk,
This will not do for thee or me!
'Tis time to quit; I cease to write,
And bid my precious babes good night!

More verses by Thomas Cowherd