Sara Coleridge

Peter Swaab (ed.), Sara Coleridge: Collected Poems

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Editor’s NoteDarling Edith

  •           Darling little Sister Edith
  •           Little knoweth little heedeth,
  •           Little hath and little needeth
  •             Little hath to fear;
  •           Easy is the life she leadeth
  •             Life without a tear.
  •           See her soon a busier Edith:
  •           Book and pen and pencil needeth:
  •           Many a pretty lesson readeth
  •             To her mother dear;
  •           Still an easy life she leadeth
  •             Life without a tear.
  •           Now she's grown an older Edith
  •           Now how much she knoweth, heedeth,
  •           Thinking oft of him that needeth
  •             With a heart sincere! –
  •           By the gentle life she leadeth
  •             Drying many a tear.

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Editor’s Note
Page 189. 'Darling Edith' (CV3, 1848, and RB, 1851). The copy text is from CV3, written in SC's hand, and dated 'Feby 1848', at which point Edith was 15; the version in RB is the final poem in the book, and is in Edith Coleridge's hand. She has noted, it seems mistakenly, 'Written by Sara Coleridge in 1851'. SC first used something like the rhyme and metric of this poem in a little verse 'To Baby Edith' in CV2. It began
  • Good morn to darling Edith
  • Whom nurse so fondly feedeth:
  •     May all she eats
  •     Be filled with sweets,
  • And sweet the life she leadeth!
An earlier, deleted, first line read 'Farewell my dear little Edith', most likely when Sara was too ill to breastfeed her.
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