Why, let the world unfeeling frown,
Must I fond Nature's claims disown?
Ah, no—though moralists reprove,
I hail thee, dearest child of Love,
Fair cherub, pledge of youth and joy—
A Father guards thy birth, my Boy!
Oh, 'twill be sweet in thee to trace,
Ere Age has wrinkled o'er my face,
Ere half my glass of life is run,
At once a brother and a son;
And all my wane of years employ
In justice done to thee, my Boy!
Although so young thy heedless sire,
Youth will not damp parental fire;
And, wert thou still less dear to me,
While Helen's form revives in thee,
The breast, which beat to former joy,
Will ne'er desert its pledge, my Boy!
1807. [First published in Moore's Life and Letters, etc., 1830, i. 104.]