A Farewell, by Charles Kingsley

Odilon Redon - Head of a child with flowers
Odilon Redon – Head of a child with flowers – from The Athenaeum

Charles Kingsley (1819–1875) was an Anglican priest, a university professor, social reformer, historian and novelist. I have chosen the following short poem from his collection Songs, Ballads, etc. published in Volume 1 of The works of Charles Kingsley. A longer version, titled “A Farewell: To C.E.G” and with 3 stanzas, has been given in Poets’ Corner.


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.

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.

Source: The works of Charles Kingsley, Volume 1, Poems, Macmillan and Co., London (1884), page 216. Transcribed from the digitisation by Internet Archive.

Previously published on Agapeta, 2017/03/31.

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