Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Song for a Fifth Child


When I was growing up, my mom had a needlework hanging in the hallway; the last portion of this poem by Ruth Hulburt Hamilton.  Until a few years ago, I was not aware of the title of the poem, or that it was longer than the portion my mom had embroidered.

Casey and I discovered last November that we were unexpectedly expecting a fifth blessing.  Sometime during the pregnancy, I came across the saved file of this poem on my computer and decided that I should post it on the blog.  Now that little Mackenzie Ruth has been here for a month, I feel it is only fitting: a poem a mom (named Ruth!  I had forgotten that part.)  wrote when her fifth child (a daughter) came along.

Song for a Fifth Child
By Ruth Hulburt Hamilton
Mother, oh Mother, come shake out your cloth
empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
hang out the washing and butter the bread,
sew on a button and make up a bed.
Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She's up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

Oh, I've grown shiftless as Little Boy Blue
(lullaby, rockaby, lullaby 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 her eyes the most wonderful hue?
(lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).

The cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow,
for 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.

Mackenzie Ruth and Family

Mackenzie Ruth Cowart was born July 16th, weighing 8 lb, 7 oz and 19 3/4 inches long.  I am once again captivated by a sweet floppy bundle of helplessness.  Though I’d love to have already posted a lot about this precious addition or how much our life has changed since I last posted regularly, it may be very appropriate that this poem remains the last post on this blog for a  while.

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