Sunday, August 9, 2009

Song for a Fifth Child

Mother, O Mother, come shake out your cloth,
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
Hang out the washing, make up the bed,
Sew on a button and butter the bread.

Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She's up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

Oh, I've grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue,
Lullabye, rockabye, lullabye loo.
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due,
Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo.

The shopping's not done and there's nothing for stew,
And out in the yard there's a hullabaloo,
But I'm playing Kanga and this is my Roo.
Look! Aren't his eyes the most wonderful hue?
Lullabye, rockaby lullabye loo.

The cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow,
But children grow up as I've learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs; Dust go to sleep!
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep.

-Ruth Hulburt Hamilton (1958)

With thanks to Kate

1 comment:

  1. Ooh, no problem, and thanks for the thanks :) A good poem and a wise word deserve a second time around!