In cradle songs and nursery lore
All the glad home employ,
Full busy in her kindly mood
Is Fancy, to descry
The welcome notes of fatherhood,
In form, and lip, and eye.
And elder brethren's hearts are proud,
And sisters blush and smile,
As round the babe by turns they crowd
A brief and wondering while.
With eager speed they ready make
Soft bosom and safe arm
As though such burthen once to take
A blessing were and charm.
And ever as with hastening wing
His little life glides on,
By power of that first wondrous spring
To all but babes unknown,
Easier each hour the task will grow,
To name the unfolding flower,
By plumage and by song to know
The nestling in his bower. --
Oh, while your hearts so blithely dance
With frail fond hopes of earth,
Will ye not cast one onward glance
To the true heavenly birth?
Will ye not say, 'GOD speed the time
When Spirits pure, to trace
The lines of a more glorious prime,
Shall lean from their high place,
'And mark, too keen for earthly day,
The Father's stamp and seal,
CHRIST in the heart, the Living Ray,
Its deepening light reveal?'
-- Oh, well the denizens of Heaven
Their Masters children know,
By filial yearnings sweet and even,
By patient smiles in woe,
By gaze of meek inquiry, turn'd
Towards th' informing Eye,
By tears that to obey have learn'd,
By claspéd hands on high!