To a Child (Botta)

For works with similar titles, see To a Child.

        I love to look on that eye of blue,
        For tears have not yet worn a channel through;
        And the few bright summers since thy birth,
        Have left thee a stranger still on earth.
        A stranger -- and all, to thine untaught eyes,
        Is bright with the hues of paradise.
        The rapture of being thrills thy frame,
        And sorrow thou know'st not even by name.
        Thy innocent thoughts, unswayed by art,
        Gush from the depths of thy guileless heart;
        Like a harp when the wandering breezes sigh,
        Answering each touch with melody.
        I would, sweet one, I might wish for thee,
        That a stranger thus thou shouldst ever be;
        That time might not lift the enchanted veil,
        Nor breathe in thine ear his mournful tale.
        But those who are bid to this feast of life,
        Must drink the cup, -- must abide the strife: --
        Then it were better to wish for thee,
        Strength for the conflict, and victory.

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