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- AS in the Spring, ere any flowers have come,
- A vague and blossomy smell
- Pervades the woods, all odors mixed in one,
- As if to tell
- That they are mustering in each sunny dell,
- So round your childish form there seems to cling
- A sense of nameless grace,
- A sweet confusion--budding hints of Spring
- Just giving place
- To graver woman-shadows in your face.
- I see no longer the mere child you are--
- The woman you might be
- Stands in your place, with eyes that gaze afar:
- Her face I see,
- And it is very beautiful to me.
- The little soft white hands you lay in mine
- I touch with reverent care;
- I see them wrinkled into many a line,
- But fair--more fair
- For every weary deed they do and bear.
- The fresh young mouth, all careless purity,
- Has faded from my gaze,
- And all the tender looks, which charity
- And many patient days
- Leave round the lips, seem now to take its place.
- Therefore I stroke so tenderly your head,
- Or watch your steps afar,
- Praying that God His love on you will shed;
- More faithful far
- Than our blind human love and watching are.
- Edward Rowland Sill
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