To Child Sara
I LOOKED in a dew-drop's heart to-day As it clung on a leaf of clover, Holding a sparkle of starry light, Like a liquid drop of opal bright With diamond dusted over. In that least globe of quivering dew The sunny scene around, Diminished to a grass-blade's width-- Scarcely a fairy's finger-breadth All imaged there I found: The spreading oak, the fir's soft fringe, The grain-field's brightening green, The linnet that flew fluttering by, And, over all, the dear blue sky, The bending boughs between: And all the night, as from its nest It gazes up afar, Its bosom holds the heavens deep, Whose constellations o'er it sweep, And mirrors every star. Child, is the drop of dew--your soul-- With mirrored heaven as bright? (Forgive me that I ask of you, Whose heart I know is pure and true And stainless as the light): The sunshine, and the starlight too,-- Fair hope, and fair as fair, Courage, and patience, silent power, And wisdom for each troubled hour,-- Tell me, are they all there? Your quiet grace and kindly words Have influence sweet and strong; Your hand and voice can calm the brain And cheer the heavy hearts of men With music and with song: Let the soul answer--can it give That music clear and calm-- The rhythmic years, the holier aim, The scorn of pleasure, fortune, fame-- To make our life a psalm? All round the house, your birthday morn The budded orchards stand; And we can watch from every room The trees all blushing into bloom-- Blossoms on every hand: So may your Life be, many a year, A fair and goodly tree; Not blossoming only, but sublime With fruit, so hastening the time When Earth shall Eden be.
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