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Lord Byron (1788–1824). Poetry of Byron. 1881.

IV. Satiric

Our Children

(Don Juan, Canto iii. Stanzas 59, 60.)

IT is a hard although a common case

To find our children running restive;—they,

In whom our brightest days we would retrace,

Our little selves re-form’d in finer clay,

Just as old age is creeping on apace,

And clouds come o’er the sunset of our day,

They kindly leave us, though not quite alone,

But in good company—the gout or stone.

Yet a fine family is a fine thing

(Provided they don’t come in after dinner);

’Tis beautiful to see a matron bring

Her children up (if nursing them don’t thin her);

Like cherubs round an altar-piece they cling

To the fireside (a sight to touch a sinner)

A lady with her daughters or her nieces

Shine like a guinea and seven-shilling pieces.