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Poetry Pleases: To Paddy

In this poem John Ayling expresses the profound parental love for his daughter.

When first I held you in adoring arms
It seemed a new creation had begun
Embodied in the glory of your charms
For us outshining light of moon or sun.
The beauty of your body, eyes and hands
Laid hold upon my heart, that still today
Yearns yet towards you, bound by those same bonds
Of deep affection that I felt that day.
Love does not change, grow weary or decay,
But, deeper, is with greater pride displayed
When fledglings grow mature and leave their play
To build new nests, where life again is made:
Yet still endures the love that first held sway,
And will, until, my life shall pass away.
How well do I remember
The day you went away,
A day in late September,
And you in bride's array,
Proudly then we walked the street,
Your arm and hand in mine.
No time then to stay and greet
Those waiting in a line,
Calling blessings on your head,
Whose prayers were joined with mine
That true love might lie ahead
Your sun for ever shine.
Although, dear Paddy, we have grown old,
Our bodies feeble and bemused the mind,
Our hearts exalt whenever we behold
Your face: are grateful for your deeds so kind.
It gives great pleasure when we hear your voice
Although it be but on the telephone.
And since we love you so, we must rejoice
At everything that welds our life as one.
Now you yourself both 'Nan' and 'Mother' art,
And busy meeting all the children's claims,
You know that to this day within your heart
Your first-born holds the pride one other names.
So though 'tis long since first to us you came,
We still are glad when we but hear your name.


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