Written circa 820
My niece, who is six years old, is called " Miss Tortoise" ;
My daughter of three, — little " Summer Dress."
One is beginning to learn to joke and talk ;
The other can already recite poems and songs.
At morning- they play clinging about my feet;
At night they sleep pillowed against my dress.
Why, children, did you reach the world so late,
Coming to me just when my years are spent ?
Young thing's draw our feeling's to them ;
Old people easily give their hearts.
The sweetest vintage at last turns sour;
The full moon in the end begins to wane.
And so with men the bonds of love and affection
Soon may change to a load of sorrow and care.
But all the world is bound by love's ties;
Why did I think that I alone should escape ?