Little Red Riding Hood (Botta)

        "Heaven lies about us in our infancy."
        Sweet child of fairy land! since first
            I dwelt, with tearful eye,
        Upon the page that tells thy tale,
            Long years have glided by.
        Then, in thy fabled history,
            No marvel could I see;
        For then the worlds of thought and sense
            Were fairy lands to me.
        The fields and meadows were as bright
            As those where thou didst stray; --
        And gaily through their tangled flowers,
            Like thee I took my way.
        And while I walked that sunny path,
            Nor doubt nor fear was mine;
        For childhood's trustfulness and faith
            Are ever strong, like thine.
        Alas! that coming years should throw
            Dark shadows o'er our way;
        And leave us with this aching sense
            Of glory passed away.

This work was published before January 1, 1926, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.