Welcome little helpless stranger

First Line Welcome little helpless stranger
Author Anna Letitia Barbauld
Date c1793

Occasional (Child's birth) [Family]. 

Transcribed from "On the Birth of an Infant." Miscellanies, moral and instructive, in prose and verse, collected from various authors, for the use of schools, and improvement of young persons of both sexes, vol. 2, 1793, p. 86. Eighteenth Century Collections Online, GALE|CW0115374333. 



Welcome little helpless stranger,

Welcome to the light of day;

Smile upon thy happy mother,

Smile and chase her pains away.


Lift thy eyes and look around thee,

Various objects court thy sight;

Nature spreads her verdant carpet,

Earth was made for thy delight,


Welcome to a mother's bosom,

Welcome to a father's arms;

Heir to all thy father's virtues,

Heir to all thy mother's charms.


Joy thou bring'st but mixt with trembling;

Anxious joys and tender fears,

Pleasing hopes and mingled sorrows,

Smiles of transport dash'd with tears.


Who can say what lies before thee,

Calm or tempest, peace or strife;

With what various turns and trials

Heaven may mark thy chequer'd life.


Who can tell what eager passions

In this little breast shall beat,

When ambition, love, or glory

Shall invade this peaceful seat.


Who can tell how wide the branches

Of this tender plant may spread? 

While beneath this ample shadow

Swains may rest and flocks be fed. 


Angels guard thee lovely blossom,

Hover round and shield from ill;

Crown thy parents largest wishes

And their fondest hopes fulfill.