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Sweet babe, in thy face
Soft desires I can trace,
Secret joys and secret smiles,
Little pretty infant wiles.

An infant (from the Latin word infans, meaning "unable to speak" or "speechless") is the more formal or specialised synonym for "baby", the very young offspring of a human. The term may also be used to refer to juveniles of other organisms.


Though she be but little, she is fierce. ~ William Shakespeare


  • Babies are the enemies of the human race. . . . Let's consider it this way: by the time the world doubles its population, the amount of energy we will be using will be increased sevenfold which means probably the amount of pollution that we are producing will also be increased sevenfold. If we are now threatened by pollution at the present rate, how will we be threatened with sevenfold pollution by, say, 2010 A.D., distributed among twice the population? We'll be having to grow twice the food out of soil that is being poisoned at seven times the rate.
  • BABE or BABY, n. A misshapen creature of no particular age, sex, or condition, chiefly remarkable for the violence of the sympathies and antipathies it excites in others, itself without sentiment or emotion. There have been famous babes; for example, little Moses, from whose adventure in the bulrushes the Egyptian hierophants of seven centuries before doubtless derived their idle tale of the child Osiris being preserved on a floating lotus leaf.
    • Ambrose Bierce, The Cynic's Dictionary (1906); republished as The Devil's Dictionary (1911).
  • How lovely he appears! his little cheeks
    In their pure incarnation, vying with
    The rose leaves strewn beneath them.
    And his lips, too,
    How beautifully parted! No; you shall not
    Kiss him; at least not now; he will wake soon—
    His hour of midday rest is nearly over.
    • Lord Byron, Cain (1821), Act III, scene 1, line 14.
  • He smiles, and sleeps!—sleep on
    And smile, thou little, young inheritor
    Of a world scarce less young: sleep on and smile!
    Thine are the hours and days when both are cheering
    And innocent!
    • Lord Byron, Cain (1821), Act III, scene 1, line 24.
  • Look! how he laughs and stretches out his arms,
    And opens wide his blue eyes upon thine,
    To hail his father; while his little form
    Flutters as winged with joy. Talk not of pain!
    The childless cherubs well might envy thee
    The pleasures of a parent.
    • Lord Byron, Cain (1821), Act III, scene 1, line 171.
  • God mark thee to his grace!
    Thou wast the prettiest babe that e'er I nursed:
    An I might live to see thee married once,
    I have my wish.
  • But what am I?
    An infant crying in the night:
    An infant crying for the light:
    And with no language but a cry.

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations

Have you not heard the poets tell
How came the dainty Baby Bell
Into this world of ours?
Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 54-56.
  • Have you not heard the poets tell
    How came the dainty Baby Bell
    Into this world of ours?
  • Oh those little, those little blue shoes!
    Those shoes that no little feet use.
    Oh, the price were high
    That those shoes would buy,
    Those little blue unused shoes!
  • Lullaby, baby, upon the tree top;
    When the wind blows the cradle will rock,
    When the bough breaks the cradle will fall,
    And down comes the baby, and cradle and all.
    • Said to be "first poem produced on American soil." Author a Pilgrim youth who came over on the Mayflower. See Book Lover, Feb., 1904.
  • Rock-bye-baby on the tree top,
    When the wind blows the cradle will rock,
    When the bough bends the cradle will fall,
    Down comes the baby, cradle and all.
    • Old nursery rhyme, attributed in this form to Charles Dupee Blake.
  • Sweet babe, in thy face
    Soft desires I can trace,
    Secret joys and secret smiles,
    Little pretty infant wiles.
  • There came to port last Sunday night
    The queerest little craft,
    Without an inch of rigging on;
    I looked and looked—and laughed.
    It seemed so curious that she
    Should cross the unknown water,
    And moor herself within my room—
    My daughter! O my daughter!
  • Lo! at the couch where infant beauty sleeps;
    Her silent watch the mournful mother keeps;
    She, while the lovely babe unconscious lies,
    Smiles on her slumbering child with pensive eyes.
  • He is so little to be so large!
    Why, a train of cars, or a whale-back barge
    Couldn't carry the freight
    Of the monstrous weight
    Of all of his qualities, good and great.
    And tho' one view is as good as another,
    Don't take my word for it. Ask his mother!
  • "The hand that rocks the cradle"—but there is no such hand.
    It is bad to rock the baby, they would have us understand;
    So the cradle's but a relic of the former foolish days,
    When mothers reared their children in unscientific ways;
    When they jounced them and they bounced them, those poor dwarfs of long ago—
    The Washingtons and Jeffersons and Adamses, you know.
    • Ascribed to Bishop Doane, What Might Have Been. A complaint that for hygienic reasons, he was not allowed to play with his grandchild in the old-fashioned way.
  • When you fold your hands, Baby Louise!
    Your hands like a fairy's, so tiny and fair,
    With a pretty, innocent, saintlike air,
    Are you trying to think of some angel-taught prayer
    You learned above, Baby Louise.
  • The morning that my baby came
    They found a baby swallow dead,
    And saw a something hard to name
    Fly mothlike over baby's bed.
  • What is the little one thinking about?
    Very wonderful things, no doubt;
    Unwritten history!
    Unfathomed mystery!
    Yet he laughs and cries, and eats and drinks,
    And chuckles and crows, and nods and winks,
    As if his head were as full of kinks
    And curious riddles as any sphinx!
  • When the baby died,
    On every side
    Rose stranger's voices, hard and harsh and loud.
    The baby was not wrapped in any shroud.
    The mother made no sound. Her head was bowed
    That men's eyes might not see
    Her misery.
  • Within the next generation I believe that the world's leaders will discover that infant conditioning and narco-hypnosis are more efficient, as instruments of government, than clubs and prisons, and that the lust for power can be just as completely satisfied by suggesting people into loving their servitude as by flogging them and kicking them into obedience
    • Aldous Huxley, letter to George Orwell (Smith, Grover (1969). Letters of Aldous Huxley. Chatto & Windus).
  • The explosions ceased, the bells stopped ringing, the shriek of the siren died down from tone to tone into silence. The stiffly twitching bodies relaxed, and what had become the sob and yelp of infant maniacs broadened out once more into a normal howl of ordinary terror.
"Offer them the flowers and the books again."
The nurses obeyed; but at the approach of the roses, at the mere sight of those gaily-coloured images of pussy and cock-a-doodle-doo and baa-baa black sheep, the infants shrank away in horror, the volume of their howling suddenly increased.
"Observe," said the Director triumphantly, "observe."
  • Sweet is the infant's waking smile,
    And sweet the old man's rest—
    But middle age by no fond wile,
    No soothing calm is blest.
    • John Keble, Christian Year, Stanza Philip and St. James, Stanza 3.


  • Suck, baby! suck! mother's love grows by giving:
    Drain the sweet founts that only thrive by wasting!
    Black manhood comes when riotous guilty living
    Hands thee the cup that shall be death in tasting.
    • Charles Lamb, The Gypsy's Malison. Sonnet in Letter to Mrs. Procter, Jan. 29, 1829.
  • The hair she means to have is gold,
    Her eyes are blue, she's twelve weeks old,
    Plump are her fists and pinky.
    She fluttered down in lucky hour
    From some blue deep in yon sky bower—
    I call her "Little Dinky."
  • A tight little bundle of wailing and flannel,
    Perplex'd with the newly found fardel of life.
  • O child! O new-born denizen
    Of life's great city! on thy head
    The glory of the morn is shed,
    Like a celestial benison!
    Here at the portal thou dost stand,
    And with thy little hand
    Thou openest the mysterious gate
    Into the future's undiscovered land.
  • Why can't women just love having babies? Is it too laughable, parochial, bourgeois not to obsess over your career?
    If there is one thing I wish had been different at my hard, driven, academic school, it's that no one, not a single teacher, said to me: "Look, by the way, there's this thing that might happen in the middle of your life and it's going to be amazing. Make space for it, because it’s going to be a lot, lot better than getting 87 per cent in Latin."
    But no one ever did.
  • A baby was sleeping,
    Its mother was weeping.
  • Her beads while she numbered,
    The baby still slumbered,
    And smiled in her face, as she bended her knee;
    Oh! bless'd be that warning,
    My child, thy sleep adorning,
    For I know that the angels are whispering with thee.
  • He seemed a cherub who had lost his way
    And wandered hither, so his stay
    With us was short, and 'twas most meet,
    That he should be no delver in earth's clod,
    Nor need to pause and cleanse his feet
    To stand before his God:
    O blest word—Evermore!
  • How did they all just come to be you?
    God thought about me and so I grew.
  • Where did you come from, baby dear?
    Out of the Everywhere into here.
  • Whenever a little child is born
    All night a soft wind rocks the corn;
    One more buttercup wakes to the morn,
    Somewhere, Somewhere.
    One more rosebud shy will unfold,
    One more grass blade push through the old,
    One more bird-song the air will hold,
    Somewhere, Somewhere.
  • And thou hast stolen a jewel, Death!
    Shall light thy dark up like a Star.
    A Beacon kindling from afar
    Our light of love and fainting faith.
  • You scarce could think so small a thing
    Could leave a loss so large;
    Her little light such shadow fling
    From dawn to sunset's marge.
    In other springs our life may be
    In bannered bloom unfurled,
    But never, never match our wee
    White Rose of all the world.
  • A sweet, new blossom of Humanity,
    Fresh fallen from God's own home to flower on earth.
  • Wee Willie Winkie rins through the toun,
    Up stairs and doon stairs in his nicht-goun,
    Tirlin' at the window, cryin' at the lock,
    "Are the weans in their bed? for it's now ten o'clock."
  • As living jewels dropped unstained from heaven.
  • Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength.
    • Psalms, VIII. 2.
  • Beneath the surface, the Giantess reader seems to be a man who longs for his infancy. He looks back fondly at the time he was dwarfed by his mother and scolded for soiling himself. And that's just about the last experience I care to reflect upon. Sure I received a few spankings but I never considered them a high point. I moved ahead and got on with my life. Didn't I?
  • Sweetest li'l' feller, everybody knows;
    Dunno what to call him, but he's mighty lak' a rose;
    Lookin' at his mammy wid eyes so shiny blue
    Mek' you think that Heav'n is comin' clost ter you.
  • A little soul scarce fledged for earth
    Takes wing with heaven again for goal,
    Even while we hailed as fresh from birth
    A little soul.
  • Beat upon mine, little heart! beat, beat!
    Beat upon mine! you are mine, my sweet!
    All mine from your pretty blue eyes to your feet,
    My sweet!
  • Baby smiled, mother wailed,
    Earthward while the sweetling sailed;
    Mother smiled, baby wailed,
    When to earth came Viola.
  • Hush, my dear, lie still and slumber,
    Holy angels guard thy bed!
    Heavenly blessings without number
    Gently falling on thy head.
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