Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE LAMENT OF LAMB'S CONDUIT, by CHARLES WILLIAM BRODRIBB

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

THE LAMENT OF LAMB'S CONDUIT, by                    
First Line: Farewell, little groundlings!
Last Line: That grow on red hill.
Subject(s): Children; Farewell; Orphans; Childhood; Parting; Foundlings

("The 400 children of the Foundling Hospital will leave the buildings in
Guilford-street this afternoon to go into summer camp before being lodged in a
temporary school in the country."—The Times, June 24, 1926.)

Farewell, little groundlings!
Lamb's conduit must grieve,
To think that the Foundlings
Must pack up and leave,

So firm were you rooted,
So safe did you seem,
While no one disputed
Your right to my stream.

But realms believed wealthy
Turn out to be poor,
And places once healthy
Are thought so no more.

At least that's the reason
They give me to-day:
To me 'tis like treason
To take you away,

When he who caressed you
Lies under the shade
Where Handel's art blessed you,
And Hogarth's pourtrayed,

And I gave you water—
More pure I had none—
And laved you, my daughter,
And slaked you, my son.

Brown coats and white aprons!
I think I'll go dry,
So weakly my tap runs,
This day of goodbye.

Good-bye, little Foundlings!
I envy the rill
That nurtures the groundlings
That grow on Red Hill.

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