Babies don’t keep

A poem by Ruth Hulbert Hamilton:

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,
Lullaby, rockabye, lullaby loo.
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due,
Lullaby, rockabye, lullaby loo.
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,
Lullaby, rockabye, lullaby loo.

The cleaning and scrubbing can wait til tomorrow,
For 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.

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