Standing on the threshold, with her wakening heart and mind,
Standing on the threshold, with her childhood left behind;
The woman softness blending with the look of sweet surprise
For life and all its marvels that lights the clear blue eyes.
Standing on the threshold, with light foot and fearless hand,
As the young knight by his armour in a minster nave might stand;
The fresh red lip just touching youth's ruddy rapturous wine,
The eager heart all brave, pure hope, oh happy child of mine!
I could guard the helpless infant that nestled in my arms;
I could save the prattler's golden head from petty baby harms;
I could brighten childhood's gladness, and comfort childhood's tears,
But I cannot cross the threshold with the step of riper years.
For hopes, and joys, and maiden dreams are waiting for her there.
Where girlhood's fancies bud and bloom in April's golden air;
And passionate love, and passionate grief, and passionate gladness lie
Among the crimson flowers that spring as youth goes fluttering by.
Ah! on those rosy pathways is no place for sobered feet.
My tired eyes have naught of strength such fervid glow to meet;
My voice is all too sad to sound amid the joyous notes
Of the music that through charmed air for opening girlhood floats.
Yet thorns amid the leaves may lurk, and thunder-clouds may lower,
And death, or change, or falsehood blight the jasmine in thy bower;
May God avert the woe, my child; but oh! should tempest come.
Remember, by the threshold waits the patient love of home!