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.
A Farewell. To C.E.G.
The line everyone knows from this poem is the rather patronising ‘Be good, sweet maid, and let who will be clever’. But I find much more interesting and helpful the second line, which I have put in bold type. To each his own…