To a Girl Thirteen Years of Age

Dublin Core


To a Girl Thirteen Years of Age


Thy smiles, thy talk, thy aimless plays,
So beautiful approve thee,
So winning, light, are all thy ways,
I cannot choose, but love thee:
Thy balmy breath upon my brow
Is like the summer air,
As o'er my cheek thou leanest now,
To plant a soft kiss there.

Thy steps are hastening towards the bound
Between the child and woman;
And thoughts and feelings more profound,
And other years are coming;
And thou shalt be more deeply fair,
More precious to the heart;
But never canst thou be again,
That lovely thing thou art!

And youth shall pass, with all the brood
Of fancy-fed affections.
And care shall come with womanhood
And waken cold reflection;
Thou it learn to toil and watch, and weep,
O'er pleasures unreturning.
Like one who wakes from pleasant sleep
Unto the cares of morning.

Nay, say not so! nor cloud the sun
Of joyous expectation,
Ordained to bless the little one,
The freshling of creation!
Nor doubt that He, who now doth feed
Her early lamp with gladness,
Will be her present help in need,
Her comforter in sadness.

Smile on, then little winsome thing,
All rich in nature's measure;
Thou hast within thy heart a spring
Of self-renewing pleasure;
Smile on fair child and take thy fill
Of mirth till time shall end it;
'Tis nature's wise and gentle will,
And who shall reprehend it?




3:46, p. 371




From Knight's Quarterly Magazine



Unattributed, “To a Girl Thirteen Years of Age,” Periodical Poets, accessed May 18, 2024,


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