MAIDEN! With the meek, brown eyes,

In whose orbs a shadow lies 

Like the dusk in evening skies!

Standing, with reluctant feet, 

Where the brook and river meet, 

Womanhood and childhood fleet!

Gazing, with a timid glance, 

On the brooklet's swift advance, 

On the river's broad expanse!

Deep and still, that gliding stream 

Beautiful to thee must seem, 

As the river of a dream.

O thou child of many prayers!

Life hath quick sands, life hath snares!

Care and age come unawares!

Like the swell of some sweet tune, 

Morning rises into noon, 

May glides onward into June.

Childhood is the bough, where slumbered 

Birds and blossoms many-numbered; 

Age, that bough with snows encumbered.

Gather, then, each flower that grows, 

When the young heart overflows, 

To embalm that tent of snows.

Bear a lily in thy hand;

Gates of brass cannot withstand

One touch of that magic wand.

Bear through sorrow, wrong, and ruth, 

In thy heart the dew of youth, 

On thy lips the smile of truth.

Oh, that dew, like balm, shall steal 

Into wounds that cannot heal, 

Even as sleep our eyes doth seal;

And that smile, like sunshine, dart 

Into many a sunless heart; 

For a smile of God thou art.