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I GAZE on thy sweet face,

My lightly laughing boy! And charms no painter's hand could trace

Behold in pride and joy, While pleasure almost turns to pain, (For human hearts may scarce sustain

Such bliss without alloy,) Till tears too sweet for those who grieve Gush forth to chasten and relieve !


And e'en when sorrow's hour

Brings gloom upon my soul, And shades o'er Life's dull landscape lour

Like clouds that slowly roll Round solemn Twilight's dusky car, Thine image kindles as a star,

To cheer me and console, And dreary thoughts and mournful dreams Soon pass like mist 'neath morning beams.


For in that bright blue eye

Still glow the rays of bliss, Like lustre from an azure sky,

Or realms more fair than this. Though vexed with worldly cares I roam, They shall not darken this dear home,

Nor check the rapturous kiss
That greets thy fresh and rosy charms
When clasped within mine eager arms!


This heart indeed were cold

To feeling's gentle sway, If while thy fairy form I fold,

And those small fingers play Around my neck, thy face the while Upraised to catch the wonted smile, Mine


could turn away, Or that calm sullen language wear That tells of sadness or despair.


I have not darkly roved

O’er Nature's fair domain,
Nor gazed on sun-lit scenes unmoved

In hours of mental pain,
And far less could my soul disown
The light round sinless children thrown

That ne'er can shine again When years bring guilt, and life no more Is bright and joyous as before.


I see my own first hours,

While lingering over thine ; I see thee pluck the fresh spring-flowers,

An artless wreath to twine; The same bright hues their beauty yields As those I sought in dewy fields,

When kindred bliss was mine ; And while by memory thus beguiled, I almost deem myself a child.


How oft the phantom Care

Hath swiftly passed away,
As some night-bird that may not dare

The morning holy ray,
While half unconsciously mine eye
Hath drank thy charms, till suddenly

I felt the fond smile play
Around my lips, nor could refrain,
But kissed thee o'er and o'er again!


I've watched thy little wiles,

A thousand times and more,
And yet they win my ready smiles

As freely as before ;
Thy dear, familiar, prattled words
Are sweeter than the songs of birds

On some calm sun-lit shore ;
Each new grace brings as proud surprize
As lights a star-discoverer's eyes.


E'en “

thrice-told tales” are sweet That cheerful children tell, On sounds their lovely lips repeat

The ear for aye could dwell ;
Unlike all other things of earth
Their winning ways and sinless mirth

Still hold us as a spell ;
In every mood, in every hour
They bear the same enchanting power.


Ah ! dearest child, if thou

A child couldst thus remain,
And I for ever gaze as now

On one without a stain
Of earthly guilt or earthly care,
With heart as pure and form as fair

As sainted spirits gain,
Methinks e'en this drear world might seem
A heaven as sweet as man could dream !


But mortal flowerets grow

'Till all their bright tints fade, And thy maturer bloom must know

The bleak world's tempest-shade ;-
Thine eyes a father's fall shall trace,
His form shall sink before thy face,

And when thine heart hath paid
Its tribute brief of natural tears,
Thou'lt seek awhile what soothes and cheers.


As I now gaze on thee

E'en thou perchance shall gaze On one whose smiles of guiltless glee

The same proud bliss shall raise, 'Till he to sterner manhood grown Shall see thee to the grave go down,

And while thy frame decays Beneath the cold, damp, silent sod, Shall follow in the track thou'st trod.


Alas ! how this dim scene

Is fraught with change and death!
What countless myriads here have been

To breathe a moment's breath,
Then sink beneath that mortal doom
That makes the wide green earth a tomb,

Its flowers a funeral wreath ;
And oh! what countless myriads more
Shall rise and fall ere Time is o'er!

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But hence with thoughts like these,

(The present still is ours !)
They come like autumn's blighting breeze

Through Summer's leafy bowers;
Thy glittering eye and sunny brow
Are all my soul shall gaze on now;

And when the future lowers,
I'll think of that celestial clime
Where all things own eternal prime!


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