The Toys

Original Text: 
Coventry Patmore, The unknown Eros and other odes (London: G. Bell, 1877). end P385 U545 1877 Fisher Rare Book Library
1My little Son, who look'd from thoughtful eyes
2And moved and spoke in quiet grown-up wise,
3Having my law the seventh time disobey'd,
4I struck him, and dismiss'd
5With hard words and unkiss'd,
6His Mother, who was patient, being dead.
7Then, fearing lest his grief should hinder sleep,
8I visited his bed,
9But found him slumbering deep,
10With darken'd eyelids, and their lashes yet
11From his late sobbing wet.
12And I, with moan,
13Kissing away his tears, left others of my own;
14For, on a table drawn beside his head,
15He had put, within his reach,
16A box of counters and a red-vein'd stone,
17A piece of glass abraded by the beach
18And six or seven shells,
19A bottle with bluebells
20And two French copper coins, ranged there with careful art,
21To comfort his sad heart.
22So when that night I pray'd
23To God, I wept, and said:
24Ah, when at last we lie with tranced breath,
25Not vexing Thee in death,
26And Thou rememberest of what toys
27We made our joys,
28How weakly understood
29Thy great commanded good,
30Then, fatherly not less
31Than I whom Thou hast moulded from the clay,
32Thou'lt leave Thy wrath, and say,
33"I will be sorry for their childishness."
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
J. D. Robins
RPO Edition: 
2RP.2.557; RPO 1996-2000.