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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
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,
In hours of mental pain,
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,
The morning holy ray,
I felt the fond smile play
I've watched thy little wiles,
A thousand times and more,
As freely as before ;
On some calm sun-lit shore ;
thrice-told tales” are sweet That cheerful children tell, On sounds their lovely lips repeat
The ear for aye could dwell ;
Still hold us as a spell ;
Ah ! dearest child, if thou
A child couldst thus remain,
On one without a stain
As sainted spirits gain,
But mortal flowerets grow
'Till all their bright tints fade, And thy maturer bloom must know
The bleak world's tempest-shade ;-
And when thine heart hath paid
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!
To breathe a moment's breath,
Its flowers a funeral wreath ;
But hence with thoughts like these,
(The present still is ours !)
Through Summer's leafy bowers;
And when the future lowers,