Poems » anonymous » childhood


Childhood, sweet and sunny childhood,
    With its careless, thoughtless air,
Like the verdant, tangled wildwood,
    Wants the training hand of care.

See it springing all around us --
    Glad to know, and quick to learn;
Asking questions that confound us;
    Teaching lessons in its turn.

Who loves not its joyous revel,
    Leaping lightly on the lawn,
Up the knoll, along the level,
    Free and graceful as a fawn?

Let it revel; it is nature
    Giving to the little dears
Strength of limb, and healthful features,
    For the toil of coming years.

He who checks a child with terror,
    Stops its play, and stills its song,
Not alone commits an error,
    But a great and moral wrong.

Give it play, and never fear it --
    Active life is no defect;
Never, never break its spirit --
    Curb it only to direct.

Would you dam the flowing river,
    Thinking it would cease to flow?
Onward it must go forever --
    Better teach it where to go.

Childhood is a fountain welling,
    Trace its channel in the sand,
And its currents, spreading, swelling,
    Will revive the withered land.

Childhood is the vernal season;
    Trim and train the tender shoot;
Love is to the coming reason,
    As the blossom to the fruit.

Tender twigs are bent and folded --
    Art to nature beauty lends;
Childhood easily is moulded;
    Manhood breaks, but seldom bends.