David Rands has kindly shared with readers of the Victorian Web his site about the life and works of W. B. Rands, the prolific writer of children's literature and originator of The Boy's Own Paper. Readers may wish to consult this site for more information about this little-known figure who had an immense influence upon Victorian children. [GPL]

Fairer than Folly when Folly is fair,
But wise with a wisdom that comes unaware;

Pleasant as May-wine, but harmless as milk;
Variously gay, like the shot in the silk;
Fresh as a hazel-bough after a shower;
Lofty, but free, like a flag on a tower;
In and out, round about, like a wind in a tree,
But no more perplexed than an arrow might be
In the air, or the river that runs to the sea;

Soft lights of homeliness painting her brows,
Warm, like the fire in a cottager's house;
Inaccessible now as a sound that has ceased,
Then frank as the white cloth spread out for a feast;
Like a landscape, made up of irrelevant things,
But with nothing to spare, from the runnel that sings
In the populous grass to the oaks that are kings;-

This is my daughter. She stands by my chair,
Harmlessly plucking the grey in my hair;
Thinking with awe of the wisdom of men,
She longs to be older, my Polly of ten;
Nothing she knows of the glory that lies
In youth, with the triumphing, on-looking eyes,
And the land of the promise beneath the new skies;

But I, with a thought like a gonfalon furl'd,
That waits for the hour when the bells shall be rung,
Sit pondering the gleam on the brow of the world
Flash'd from the fields that for ever are young.

Last modified 21 August 2005