• Daniel Ethan Finneran

"Small, precious cherub--angel on its way"

Small, precious cherub—angel on its way

Undisclosed the hour, secretive the day

On which you’ll arrive, bringing with you mirth

Great joy descending, happiness of birth!

The date of your coming, still we know not when

The autumn’s brisk morn? Or October’s end?

Will it be when summer, stubborn takes her leave?

Or will it be nearer All hallow’s eve?

The dread night on which ghouls come out to play

Befits my niece divine, to chase them all away.

And with gladness fill, a world so cold grown

Drained of its laughter, hardened as a stone.

Dour mien unsmiling, frown in iron etched

All to be softened, with her advent blessed.

And so, wait I will! Uncle soon to be,

Counting down the hours, each impatiently

’Til, little bundle, my faint arms you’ll fill

With sweetness o’erpouring, and yet more still

Held in reserve, for your doting mother

Passion in her eyes, with which she’ll smother

Such a slate as you, blank, yet oh-so full

White, creamy canvas, not a corner dull.

Vibrant as a garden, plump as a peach

Uplifting the clouds, out to which you’ll reach

Clearing the grey sky of its somber hue

Bringing forth the sun into brilliant view

At which all will stare, gazing, asking—“Why?”

Like three Eastern wise men, trav’ling Magi

Who, pursuing Venus, did a child find

By a god Sired, parentage divine.

Ah!—such joy is the miracle of birth!

Such bliss that there can never be a dearth

Of an event so grand, great, and sublime

Of which I stand in awe, now and for all-time;

‘Till, some distant day, in darkness I’ll part

Yet, at my leave, a new life’s sure to start.

Strong is the cycle, unimpinged the link

Life’s steely circle, on which not a chink

Can be found; nor a rusty, tarnished spot

Flawless is our coat, ceaseless is our lot.

Yes!—in you, niece, cometh true all my dreams

And in your future, greatness well beseems

A girl such as you, beautiful and strong;

Darling of these lines, hero of my song.

Occupant, for now, of thy mother’s womb;

Your safe harbor, my sister in her bloom.

Clear I recall, the days in youth we spent

I, a monstrous beast, she, so elegant!

Gentle in her touch, careful with her words,

Selfless in her ways, no matter whom towards.

Fine model for any wayward brother

Jewel of her Dad, shadow of her mother

Whose status she’ll soon share. And so, my niece,

For you, I call the pagan names of Greece:

Hera for health, for looks, Aphrodite;

Strength from the one, from the other beauty.

Wanting you’ll not be in speed and prowess

As you’re touched by the sylvan Artemis.

Quiver on her back, stag at her lithe side

Virgin goddess of the moon and its tide.

Unbesmirched and pure, elegant and chaste

Maiden of the woods, queen of that green place.

I’d not soon forget, upon Rhea to call

Mother of Zeus, most puissant of them all.

A Titan on her own, sovereign by right,

May she visit you on your birthing night.

Last, but not least, the goddess most adored

Bearing a city, and a trenchant sword.

Tinged by the olive—greenish, grayish hue

Is her regal eye casting out its view

From the high pillar of her lofty throne

Steep the ascent to Parthenon’s wide dome.

There sits Athena, tranquil and at ease

Whisp’ring words of welcome, to my new-born niece.

And so, fair cherub, tenderly I wait

Deities join me, gathered at the gate.

Slothful seconds pass, slowly do they trudge

Mindless of my eager, rapt Uncle’s nudge!

Make haste, pretty girl! dally forth no more

Waiting is for me punishment and chore.

Doth October beckon? Fall—does it ring?

Mirthful month coming, and my niece to bring!

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