Music:To A Boy Of Four Years Old, On Hearing Him Play The Harp
SWEET boy! before thy lips can learn
In speech thy wishes to make known,
Are 'thoughts that breathe and words that burn'
Heard in thy music's tone.
Were Genius tasked to prove the might,
The magic of her hidden spell,
She well might name thee with delight
As her own miracle.
Who that hath heard, from summer trees,
The sweet wild song of summer birds,
When morning to the far-off breeze
Whispers her bidding words;
Or listened to the bird of night,
The minstrel of the star-light hours,
Companion of the fire-fly's flight,
Cool dews, and closed flowers;
But deemed that spirits of the air
Had left their native homes in heaven,
And that the music warbled there
To earth awhile was given?
For with that music came the thought
That life's young purity was theirs,
And love, all artless, and untaught,
Breathed in their woodland airs.
And when, sweet boy! thy baby fingers
Wake sounds of heaven's own harmony,
How welcome is the thought that lingers
Upon thy lyre and thee!
It calls up visions of past days,
When life was infancy and song
To us, and old remembered lays,
Unheard, unheeded long;
Revive in joy or grief within us,
Like lost friends wakened from their sleep,
With all their early power to win us
Alike to smile or weep.
And when we gaze upon that face,
Blooming in innocence and truth,
And mark its dimpled artlessness,
Its beauty and its youth;
We think of better worlds than this,
Of other beings pure as thou,
Who breathe, on winds of Paradise,
Music as thine is now.
And know the only emblem meet
Of that pure Faith the heart adores,
To be a child like thee, whose feet
Are strangers on Life's shores.