By Charles Sangster



“I send you one of little Libby’s curls.”—Letter.

     To others, valueless,
To me, a most inestimable prize,
     That doth possess
     True loveliness.
It speaks of childish joy, and manhood’s sighs.


At quiet evening, when my work is done,
     I love to look upon
          That Yellow Curl.

     I look on it, and, lo!
My better feelings quicken at the sight,


     For well I know
     How soft time’s stream doth flow
Around thy path, dear, gentle child, and bright,
Whose graces, though in absence, I review,
     And that fair head, where grew


          That Yellow Curl. [Page 186]

     A rose-bud on a stream,
A twittering swallow first upon the wing,
     A warm sunbeam:
     Such, sweet one! dost thou seem,


First floweret of the early budding spring,
That, ’mongst the many joys it brings to man,
     Hath nothing fairer than
          That Yellow Curl.

     A gift from Fairy land,


A gem from Beauty’s casket, dearly prized,
     A golden sand
     From distant Ophir’s strand;
Lovelier than Earth’s perfections harmonized:
Ev’n so art thou, fair child, and such to me


     Shall ever, ever be
          That Yellow Curl.

     A lily in the wild,
A beauteous Thought amongst a Sea of Words,
     A zephyr mild:


     Such seem’st thou, gifted child;
A gentle lamb chosen from many herds;
A vast idea, concentrated to
     A point.  Go! let me view
          That Yellow Curl.


     And I will hoard the gem,
Will keep the golden treasure as secure
     As a rare diadem; [Page 187]
     Blossom from a graceful stem;
I look on it, and know that thou art pure.


Thoughts crowd on thoughts, and fancies, strange and new,
     Love to do homage to
          That Yellow Curl.

     I look on it, and all
The evil in my nature seems to die;


     One glance doth call
     Forth peace, and disenthrall
My pent-up fancies.  Mount, my thoughts, yon sky,
And there select some graceful cherub’s face,
     And faultless head, to grace


          That Yellow Curl. [Page 188]