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Maidenhood

2006-09-08 11:30

    MAIDEN! with the meek brown eyes

    In whose orbs a shadow lies

    Like the dusk in evening skies!

    Thou whose locks outshine the sun

    Golden tresses wreathed in one

    As the braided streamlets run!

    Standing with reluctant feet

    Where the brook and river meet

    Womanhood and childhood fleet!

    Gazing with a timid glance

    On the brooklet's swift advance

    On the river's broad expanse!

    Deep and still that gliding stream

    Beautiful to thee must seem

    As the river of a dream.

    Then why pause with indecision

    When bright angels in thy vision

    Beckon thee to fields Elysian?

    Seest thou shadows sailing by

    As the dove with startled eye

    Sees the falcon's shadow fly?

    Hearest thou voices on the shore

    That our ears perceive no more

    Deafened by the cataract's roar?

    Oh thou child of many prayers!

    Life hath quicksands Life hath snares!

    Care and age come unawares!

    Like the swell of some sweet tune

    Morning rises into noon

    May glides onward into June.

    Childhood is the bough where slumbered

    Birds and blossoms many numbered;—

    Age that bough with snows encumbered.

    Gather then each flower that grows

    When the young heart overflows

    To embalm that tent of snows.

    Bear a lily in thy hand;

    Gates of brass cannot withstand

    One touch of that magic wand.

    Bear through sorrow wrong and ruth

    In thy heart the dew of youth

    On thy lips the smile of truth.

    O that dew like balm shall steal

    Into wounds that cannot heal

    Even as sleep our eyes doth seal;

    And that smile like sunshine dart

    Into many a sunless heart

    For a smile of God thou art.

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