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ADDRESS TO MY INFANT DAUGHTER,
ON BEING REMINDED, THAT SHE WAS A MONTH OLD,
ON THAT DAY.
HAST thou then survived, Mild Offspring of infirm humanity, Meek Infant! among all forlornest things The most forlorn, one life of that bright Star, The second glory of the heavens? — Thou hast : Already hast survived that great decay; That transformation through the wide earth felt, And by all nations. In that Being's sight From whom the Race of human kind proceed, A thousand years are but as yesterday; And one day's narrow circuit is to him Not less capacious than a thousand years. But what is time? What outward glory? neither A measure is of Thee, whose claims extend Through“ heaven's eternal year.”— Yet hail to Thee, Frail, feeble Monthling !- by that name, methinks, Thy scanty breathing-time is portioned out Not idly. - Hadst thou been of Indian birth, Couched on a casual bed of moss and leaves, And rudely canopied by leafy boughs, Or to the churlish elements exposed On the blank plains, - the coldness of the night, Or the night's darkness, or its cheerful face Of beauty, by the changing Moon adorned, Would, with imperious admonition, then Have scored thine age, and punctually timed Thine infant history, on the minds of those Who might have wandered with thee. - Mother's love, Nor less than Mother's love in other breasts, Will, among us warm clad and warmly housed, Do for thee what the finger of the heavens Doth all too often harshly execute For thy unblest Coevals, amid wilds Where Fancy hath small liberty to grace The affections, to exalt them or refine ; And the maternal sympathy itself, Though strong, is, in the main, a joyless tie Of naked instinct, wound about the heart. Happier, far happier is thy lot and ours !
Even now to solemnize thy helpless state,
Alas! full soon
A mournful labour, while to her is given