A Farewell

I

My fairest child, I have no song to give you;
No lark could pipe to skies so dull and grey:
Yet, ere we part, one lesson I can leave you
For every day.

II

Be good, sweet maid, and let who will be clever;
Do noble things, not dream them, all day long:
And so make life, death, and that vast for-ever
One grand, sweet song.

by Charles Kingsley

Other poems of KINGSLEY (85)

Comments (36)

What's the occasion of the parting? The advice is almost like the idea (I think echoed by Nietzsche?) that one should live one's life as though crafting a work of art. Difficult to do on a monday morning in January, when everyone is being grumpy... But not a bad idea
My late Mum wrote this poem in my autograph book when I was quite young,Words that touch the heart.
What terrible dispiriting advice to a clever girl. Typical Victorian paternalistic drivel.
In my experience sweet maids can be both clever and good.
In 1967 as I left for college my mom quoted two lines from this...I searched now and have tears...
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