By Charles Sangster



Child of the sunny brow! mysteriously beautiful
Are those radiant eyes of thine, so full of hidden meanings.
From their depths of blue enigmal voices speak
In language fraught with silent eloquence and love,
That cannot be interpreted.  Dost thou live in the Ideal?


Thou, so young in years that the mild dawn of infancy
Dwells yet upon thy rosy features.  Dost thou dream of worlds
Where spirits like thine own—extremes of purity,
And models of young Innocence, do dwell?
Or, are thy dreams of earth? child of the thoughtful eye,


Of earth, and all the wild realities
That throng our sinning, lovely world?
Or wherefore gazest thou, as if the deep reflections
Of the happy spirits of the sunny skies
Were centred all in thee?  Mysterious are those eyes,


Brimful of unspoken mystery, and lovely as the stars!
     Child of serene beatitude!
     Almost thou claimest our idolatry.
     Child of my heart’s unselfish love!
     Bright type of angelic simplicity


     Sent hither from above;
     Earth holds nought lovelier than thee,
     Child of the polished brow and laughing eye!
     The glory of the Eternal rests upon thee; [Page 182]
     Thou art spotless as heaven’s azure sky,


     And gentle as the dove.

Child of the thoughtful eye, the sunny, curl-kissed brow!
Fair as an evening moonbeam is the soft sweetness
Of thy angelic features—the truthful mirror that reflects
The celestial brightness of thy unerring soul,


Even as in the river’s face the stars are nightly glassed.
Perfection seated on its loftiest eminence,
Where the transient beauty of this world wings not
Its daring flight, cannot compare with thee,
Or vie with the heavenly intellectuality


Of thy serene and faultlessly-moulded countenance.
     Type of the truly beautiful!
     Figure of the truly happy and the pure!
     Fair and unsurpassable creation!
     Wast thou sent hither to endure


     Such trials as may furrow that calm brow,
     And bedim those lustrous eyes,
     That surpass all bright things? thou peerless one!

Child of the early morning! child of the sunny brow!
On which the spirit’s divine immortality


Forever sits; scarce can I deem thee of this earth,
For God has given thee the likeness of an angel,
And left the unmistakable impress of a divine hand
Upon thee.  Thou art softer than the holy radiance
Of the immortal stars, that love to look on thee,


Thou art so like to them in brightness, and thou seem’st
To have enticed from the planetary fields [Page 183]
Two of their most beautiful and lustrous ornaments.
Child of the blooming cheek! the marble brow!
Thou wast surely born to love; to learn love’s various teachings.


We admire thee when thou art rapt in wakeful dreamings;
We watch the eloquent expression of thy mild features;
And listen to the innocent prattle of thy fairy lips.
All these bespeak thee a child of love.  Love supremely reigns
In all thy looks, and in thy magic whisperings;


A love that purifies and elevates the heart;
Thy voice is delectable music, that stirs the inmost soul.
Would that thou wert not doomed to earthly sorrows!
They are inseparable from love.  They give the visions
Of the bright mind a tinge of gloom, and mar its soft enjoyment.


Sorrow and Love, alas! go hand in hand.  They are
Twin issues of the one fate—the one unrelenting destiny.
     Child of the blooming cheek!
     Where young Love tends the delicate rose,
     Sorrow and Love may both be thine?


     God keep thy gentle spirit meek,
     Breathe on thee with breath divine,
     And shield thee from Love’s woes!

Child of the rose-tinged cheek!  Child of the lily brow!
Let the selfish Atheist approach, and gaze upon thy beauty.          

          [Page 184]

Dare he deny that thou wilt live hereafter?
Dare he deny that on thy Celestial countenance
Is stamped the impress of the soul’s bright immortality?
Will he not there trace the right hand of Omnipotence?
The breathings of a Divine Creator visible in every lineament?


There speaks the undying soul; there the spirit’s throne is                          erected;
There the intent of our earthly pilgrimage may be read.
If such a proof as thou art do not impress his mind
With the full certainty of man’s eternal destiny,
Let him begone from hence and herd among the brutes!


Child of the placid brow! child of the laughing lip!
Child of the eloquent, thoughtful, dreamy eye!
Child of the musing look—the look of unchildish earnestness,
Wherefore wast thou made so beautiful?
The loveliest rose must fade; the lily lose its whiteness,


And the mild eye of the blue violet must close in death!
Thy brow will yet lose its polished, alabaster beauty;
Thy cheek will blanch and wither beneath the breath of time;
Thine eye, where sits the God-like Spirit of Language,
Will become dim as the years pass o’er thee in their swiftness;


Those golden curls will whiten and lose their velvet softness;
And thy dear form is doomed to moulder in the tomb.
Alas! that beauty such as thine should come to this! [Page 185]
Alas! that thy light-bounding heart, whence springs thy merry                     laughter,
Should wither in that gentle bosom and grow cold—


Cold as the pale snows in the bleak church-yard,
That cover the icy bosoms of the dead. [Page 186]