TO A MOTHER, ON SEEING HER SMILE REPEATED
IN HER DAUGHTER’S EYES
A thousand songs I might have made
Of You, and only You;
A thousand thousand tongues of fire
That trembled down a golden wire
To lamp the night with stars, to braid
The morning bough with dew.
Within the greenwood girl and boy
Had loiter’d to their lure,
And men in cities closed their books
To dream of Spring and running brooks
And all that ever was of joy
For manhood to abjure.
And I’d have made them strong, so strong
Outlasting towers and towns—
Millennial shepherds ’neath the thorn
Had piped them to a world reborn,
And danced Delight the dale along
And up the daisied downs.
A thousand songs I might have made...
But you required them not;
Content to reign your little while
Ere, abdicating with a smile,
You pass’d into a shade, a shade