A doll poem

Dear Diary,

Angelo:  I think you'll enjoy this lovely poem by a man about his doll.  

The Little Doll
~Charles Kingsley
I once had a sweet little doll, dears,
The prettiest doll in the world;
Her cheeks were so red and so white; dears,
And her hair was so charmingly curled.
But I lost my poor little doll, dears,
As I played in the heath one day;
And I cried for her more than a week, dears;
But I never could find where she lay.
I found my poor little doll, dears,
As I played in the heath one day:
Folks say she is terrible changed, dears,
For her paint is all washed away,
And her arm trodden off by the cows, dears,
And her hair not the least bit curled:
Yet for old sakes' sake she is still, dears,
The prettiest doll in the world.

 It was written by Charles Kingsley (12 June 1819 – 23 January 1875), a broad church priest of the Church of England, a university professor, social reformer, historian and novelist.  I cannot find anywhere an explanation of why he wrote this poem.  Perhaps, it was a reminiscence of something which happened to him in his youth.  I find it to be a mystery: how did a man who was known in his time for promoting "muscular Christianity" and the hyper-masculinity it espoused, come to write a poem on his childhood girl doll?

"I'd like to dedicate this posting to my dear friend, Peggy Sue, the prettiest doll I know."

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