Motherless babe, I can't forbear to make
Some rhyme to thee for thy dear mother's sake.
Thy pleasant looks, thy smiles, thy temper mild
Do much surprise me in so young a child.
In thy sweet face I view in embryo
My lost wife's charms; it is, it must be so.
Quiet thy ways, and smiling oft through tears,
An earnest surely this for future years,
That the same lovely conduct may be shown
Which marked thy mother's life, as is well known.
Then as thou dost advance to womanhood,
May God's own Word by thee be understood.
Can I look forward to the time
When thou shalt reach a woman's prime?
When youth and beauty, linked with grace
May beam forth from thy smiling face?
Alas, the future, hid from sight
Of all but Him who dwells in light,
May see us numbered with the dead.
And knowing this may I be led
To train my children in the way
That leads to Heaven's eternal day.

More verses by Thomas Cowherd