by Letitia Elizabeth Landon
Thou lovely and thou happy child,
Ah, how I envy thee!
I should be glad to change our state,
If such a thing might be.
And yet it is a lingering joy
To watch a thing so fair,
To think that in our weary life
Such pleasant moments are.
A little monarch thou art there,
And of a fairy realm,
Without a foe to overthow,
A care to overwhelm.
Thy world is in thy own glad will,
And in each fresh delight,
And in thy unused heart, which makes
Its own, its golden light.
With no misgivings in thy past,
Thy future with no fear;
The present circles thee around, --
An angel's atmosphere.
How little is the happiness
That will content a child --
A favorite dog, a sunny fruit.
A blossom growing wild.
A word will fill the little heart
With pleasure and with pride;
It is a harsh, a cruel thing,
That such can be denied.
And yet how many weary hours
Those joyous creatures know;
How much of sorrow and restraint
They to their elders owe!
How much they suffer from our faults!
How much from our mistakes!
How often, too, mistaken zeal
An infant's misery makes!
We overrule, and overteach,
We curb and we confine,
And put the heart to school too soon
To learn our narrow line.
No; only taught by love to love,
Seems childhood's natural task;
Affection, gentleness, and hope,
Are all its brief years ask.
Enjoy thy happiness, sweet child,
With careless heart and eye;
Enjoy those few bright hours which now,
E'en now, are hurrying by; --
And let the gazer on thy face
Grow glad with watching thee,
And better, kinder; -- such at least
Its influence on me.
Source:The Poetical Works Of Miss Landon
Phillips, Sampson, And Co.
110 Washington Street