Archive for January 20th, 2013

Sunday, 20 January 2013

For My Infant Daughter by Alan Swallow

Dear child, child of the human night,
The starless beaming of our fear,
Error, ingratitude, and war–
Dear child, I grieve for your birthright
Beneath these heavens: see, this year,
How blind, how deep the wound and scar.

What shall I offer besides love
And gratitude? What counsel give
Upon a planet hot with blood?
May you grow wiser than the dove
Whose passion, warm but relative,
Sits like the leaf, and the leaf’s bud.

May you grow beautiful with grace
Of limb and movement; may your mind
Grow fonder of the time’s decease
Than of its habitual, easy place–
More than conservative, to find
That more than earthly blessing, peace.

I hope too much? Yes, hope for all
That state, my human child, which shone
In many eyes, when the world shook,
And is not dead but yet may fall
On you, dear woman worthy grown,
On me, worthy of your backward look.


Date: 1936

By: Alan Swallow (1915-1966)