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Babyhood

 A baby shines as bright
If winter or if May be
On eyes that keep in sight
A baby.
Though dark the skies or grey be, It fills our eyes with light, If midnight or midday be.
Love hails it, day and night, The sweetest thing that may be Yet cannot praise aright A baby.
II.
All heaven, in every baby born, All absolute of earthly leaven, Reveals itself, though man may scorn All heaven.
Yet man might feel all sin forgiven, All grief appeased, all pain outworn, By this one revelation given.
Soul, now forget thy burdens borne: Heart, be thy joys now seven times seven: Love shows in light more bright than morn All heaven.
III.
What likeness may define, and stray not From truth's exactest way, A baby's beauty? Love can say not What likeness may.
The Mayflower loveliest held in May Of all that shine and stay not Laughs not in rosier disarray.
Sleek satin, swansdown, buds that play not As yet with winds that play, Would fain be matched with this, and may not: What likeness may? IV.
Rose, round whose bed Dawn's cloudlets close, Earth's brightest-bred Rose! No song, love knows, May praise the head Your curtain shows.
Ere sleep has fled, The whole child glows One sweet live red Rose.

Poem by Algernon Charles Swinburne
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