Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Babies Don't Keep

Mother, O Mother, come shake out your cloth,

Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,

Hang out the washing, make up the bed,

Sew on a button and butter the bread.

Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?

She's up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

Oh, I've grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue,

Lullabye, rockabye, lullabye 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 his eyes the most wonderful hue?

Lullabye, rockaby lullabye loo.

The cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow

But 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.

- Ruth Hulbert Hamilton


Pippa said...

Oh, that's such a wonderful poem!! My eldest DD and I were talking about housework this morning and I came to the conclusion that a home is a home, somewhere to feel comfortable and safe. If it becomes a place that creates endless work, it defies the whole point of it being a comforting home. Who says a home has to be tidy and neat all the time? Is a house that has a bit of clutter, dust, piles of shoes, scattered books, squashed cushions etc any less of a home than one that has been polished and straightened all day?

Lovely poem, I will copy it out and frame it on my wall, I think. Thanks for sharing xxxx

LesleyA said...

I have loved that poem since my boys were's so true that babies and little children grow up fast, we just have to enjoy them!

Claire said...

I've never heard the poem either. But I agree with you Pippa: if you're constantly 'doing' housework, and chasing your tail catching up with yourself, it makes life less enjoyable. We currently have a home FULL of dust due to building work, so there's really no point in tidying ;) We are far too busy playing and doing other interesting stuff, especially things that bore me like ironing!

If I had to do all of this stuff every day, my children would be not fed/educated/entertained, and would make home-educating them pretty pointless indeed.


LesleyA said...

LOL I do not own an iron :)

Anonymous said...

I love this poem!

and the accompanying photo is adorable =]