Loving And Liking - Irregular Verses - Addressed To A Child (by My Sister) Poem Rhyme Scheme and Analysis


There's more in words than I can teachA
Yet listen Child I would not preachA
But only give some plain directionsB
To guide your speech and your affectionsB
Say not you 'love' a roasted fowlC
But you may love a screaming owlC
And if you can the unwieldy toadD
That crawls from his secure abodeD
Within the mossy garden wallE
When evening dews begin to fallE
Oh mark the beauty of his eyeF
What wonders in that circle lieF
So clear so bright our fathers saidG
He wears a jewel in his headG
And when upon some showery dayH
Into a path or public wayH
A frog leaps out from bordering grassI
Startling the timid as they passI
Do you observe him and endeavourJ
To take the intruder into favourJ
Learning from him to find a reasonK
For a light heart in a dull seasonK
And you may love him in the poolL
That is for him a happy schoolL
In which he swims as taught by natureJ
Fit pattern for a human creatureJ
Glancing amid the water brightM
And sending upward sparkling lightM
Nor blush if o'er your heart be stealingN
A love for things that have no feelingN
The spring's first rose by you espiedM
May fill your breast with joyful prideM
And you may love the strawberry flowerJ
And love the strawberry in its bowerJ
But when the fruit so often praisedM
For beauty to your lip is raisedM
Say not you 'love' the delicate treatM
But 'like' it enjoy it and thankfully eatM
Long may you love your pensioner mouseO
Though one of a tribe that torment the houseO
Nor dislike for her cruel sport the catM
Deadly foe both of mouse and ratM
Remember she follows the law of her kindM
And Instinct is neither wayward nor blindM
Then think of her beautiful gliding formP
Her tread that would scarcely crush a wormQ
And her soothing song by the winter fireJ
Soft as the dying throb of the lyreJ
I would not circumscribe your loveR
It may soar with the eagle and brood with the doveR
May pierce the earth with the patient moleS
Or track the hedgehog to his holeS
Loving and liking are the solace of lifeT
Rock the cradle of joy smooth the death bed of strifeT
You love your father and your motherJ
Your grown up and your baby brotherJ
You love your sister and your friendsU
And countless blessings which God sendsU
And while these right affections playH
You 'live' each moment of your dayH
They lead you on to full contentM
And likings fresh and innocentM
That store the mind the memory feedM
And prompt to many a gentle deedM
But 'likings' come and pass awayH
'Tis 'love' that remains till our latest dayH
Our heavenward guide is holy loveR
And will be our bliss with saints aboveR

William Wordsworth


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