For the fathers of daughters

Posted: October 16, 2012 in Family, Humor, Just for fun, Poetry
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

My husband sent me this poem by Ogden Nash the other day, his new favorite poem.  As we’re the proud parents of two girls/young women, I understand why!  🙂

Look out, prospective suitors!!

Song to be Sung by the Father of Infant Female Children
by Ogden Nash

My heart leaps up when I behold
A rainbow in the sky;
Contrariwise, my blood runs cold
When little boys go by.
For little boys as little boys,
No special hate I carry,
But now and then they grow to men,
And when they do, they marry.
No matter how they tarry,
Eventually they marry.
And, swine among the pearls,
They marry little girls.

Oh, somewhere, somewhere, an infant plays,
With parents who feed and clothe him.
Their lips are sticky with pride and praise,
But I have begun to loathe him.
Yes, I loathe with a loathing shameless
This child who to me is nameless.
This bachelor child in his carriage
Gives never a thought to marriage,
But a person can hardly say knife
Before he will hunt him a wife.

I never see an infant (male),
A-sleeping in the sun,
Without I turn a trifle pale
And think, is he the one?
Oh, first he'll want to crop his curls,
And then he'll want a pony,
And then he'll think of pretty girls
And holy matrimony.
He'll put away his pony,
And sigh for matrimony.
A cat without a mouse
Is he without a spouse.

Oh, somewhere he bubbles bubbles of milk,
And quietly sucks his thumbs.
His cheeks are roses painted on silk,
And his teeth are tucked in his gums.
But alas, the teeth will begin to grow,
And the bubbles will cease to bubble;
Given a score of years or so,
The roses will turn to stubble.
He'll sell a bond, or he'll write a book,
And his eyes will get that acquisitive look,
And raging and ravenous for the kill,
He'll boldly ask for the hand of Jill.
This infant whose middle
Is diapered still
Will want to marry
My daughter Jill.

Oh sweet be his slumber and moist his middle!
My  dreams, I fear, are infanticiddle.
A fig for embryo Lohengrins!
I'll open all of his safety pins,
I'll pepper his powder, and salt his bottle,
And give him readings from Aristotle.
Sand for his spinach I'll gladly bring,
And Tabasco sauce for his teething ring,
And an elegant, elegant alligator
To play with in his perambulator.
Then perhaps he'll struggle through fire and water
To marry somebody else's daughter.

  1. Oh, the guilt, the shame – I suppose I have to confess: I’m the mother of two sons. 😉

    Such a funny poem – for some reason I especially love the lines “Given a score of years or so / The roses will turn to stubble”.

  2. boomiebol says:

    Ha! I love this… I have twin girls and yea…boys back off for a long time.

    • sustainabilitea says:

      Back when the girls said they hated boys, we said, “Hold that thought for about 30 years!!”

  3. vbholmes says:

    Fun poem, greaqt photo and gorgeous family–thanks for sharing!

  4. How sweet! I just love your picture!

    • sustainabilitea says:

      Thanks, Kimberly. That was certainly “back in the day”!!

      • Kimberly Konkol says:

        I just love the photos that are “back in the day”. 🙂

      • sustainabilitea says:

        Me, too. As I’m packing things up, I’m finding lots of them. Unfortunately, the pictures I have from my European trip in the 70’s are all on slides! I’ll have to get them organized and put on DVD’s at some point, but it will take some time and expense. Time is in short supply right now, so after the move.

      • I can imagine how tempting it would be just to stop and look at pictures! 🙂