April 19, 2006

Babies Don't Keep

A familiar poem to some, and one I recite in my head daily. Thanks to Mopsy at Lifenut for inspiring me to post it here.

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


  1. What a neat poem..and good reminder!!

  2. That is a very neat poem. So true!

  3. That is a great poem. My first born is 8months and I'm already missing all of his 'little baby' moments...

  4. Super sweet. I just tucked the twins in, maybe I should go rock them a bit...

  5. ohhh that is just the sweetest poem, I cant stand it.
    I am going to print that one down.
    Thanks for sharing stephanie!

  6. I love it. Brought tears to my eyes

  7. Love that! My little one is a squirmy 6 months now and pretty much just runs out of batteries and falls asleep wherever he crashes. I miss the rocking!

  8. The last paragraph of this poem is stitched and framed above my rocking chair in Caleb's room. My husband's grandmother and aunt stitched it for his mother and it hung in her nursery when hubby and his brothers were small. I never knew where this came from. Thanks!

  9. This poem is why I stay home....well put.

  10. I went looking for this poem when I was rocking my baby and looking at the messy nursery. When I found it here and read it, it just made me sob. I can't get through reading it without my eyes filling with tears. It's such a great reminder of what is important.


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