Titlepage Illustration: The Faithful Guardian.details

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Titlepage Illustration: The Faithful Guardian.

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A small child, presumably a little girl, wearing a frilly lace bonnet, a dress, white stockings and tiny slippers, sits or half-kneels on the floor clutching a small dog—a puppy judging by the size of its paws—by the neck and mouth. The infant girl is looking straight towards the viewer. The picture is captioned “The Faithful Guardian.”

The poem (a few pages later) was originally published as “Etty’s Rover” by the poet and writer Letitia Elizabeth Landon (1802 – 1838), signing herself L.E.L.

The Faithful Guardian, by L.E.L.

Thou lovely and thou happy child,

Ah! how I envy thee!

I should be glad to change our state,

If such a change might be.

And yet it is a lingering joy

To watch a thing so fair

To think that in our weary life

Such pleasant moments are.

A little monarch thou art there,

And of a fairy realm,

Without a foe to overthrow,

A care to overwhelm.

Thy world is in thy own glad will,

And in each fresh delight,

And in thy unused heart, which makes

Its own, its golden light.

With no misgivings in thy past,

Thy future with no fear;

The present circles thee around,

An angel’s atmosphere.

How little is the happiness

That will content a child—

A favourite dog, a sunny fruit,

A blossom growing wild!

A word will fill the little heart

With pleasure and with pride;

It is a harsh, a cruel thing,

That such can be denied.

And yet how many weary hours

Those joyous ereatures know;

How much of sorrow and restraint

They to their elders owe!

How much they suffer from our faults!

How much from our mistakes!

How often, too, mistaken zeal

An infant’s misery makes!

We overrule and over-teach,

We curb and we confine,

And put the heart to school too soon,

To learn our narrow line.

No; only taught by love to love,

Seems childhood’s natural task;

Affection, gentleness, and hope

Are all its brief years ask.

Enjoy thy happiness, sweet child,

With careless heart and eye;

Enjoy those few bright hours which now,

E’en now are hurrying by.

And let the gazer on thy face

Grow glad with watching thee,

And better, kinder;—such at least

Its influence on me.

(p. 5)



115 x 130mm (4.5 x 5.1 inches)

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23149 dots per inch (approximately)



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