Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE LITTLE FRIEND; WRITTEN IN THE BOOK WHICH SHE MADE & SENT, by ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING



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THE LITTLE FRIEND; WRITTEN IN THE BOOK WHICH SHE MADE & SENT, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: The book thou givest, dear as such
Last Line: Ye meet th' advancing years!
Subject(s): Books; Reading


I

THE book thou givest, dear as such,
Shall bear thy dearer name:
And many a word the leaves shall touch,
For thee who form'dst the same!
And on them, many a thought shall grow
'Neath memory's rain and sun,
Of thee, glad child, who dost not know
That thought and pain are one!

II

Yes! thoughts of thee, who satest oft,
A while since, at my side --
So wild to tame, -- to move so soft,
So very hard to chide:
The childish vision at thine heart,
The lesson on the knee;
The wandering looks which would depart,
Like gulls, across the sea!

III

The laughter, which no half-belief
In wrath could all suppress:
The falling tears, which looked like grief,
And were but gentleness:
The fancies sent, for bliss, abroad,
As Eden's were not done --
Mistaking still the cherub's sword
For shining of the sun!
IV

The sportive speech with wisdom in 't --
The question strange and bold --
The childish fingers in the print
Of God's creative hold:
The praying words in whispers said,
The sin with sobs confest;
The leaning of the young meek head
Upon the Saviour's breast!

V

The gentle consciousness of praise,
With hues that went and came;
The brighter blush, a word could raise,
Were that -- a father's name!
The shadow on thy smile for each
That on his face could fall!
So quick hath love been, thee to teach,
What soon it teacheth all.

VI

Sit still as erst beside his feet!
The future days are dim, --
But those will seem to thee most sweet
Which keep thee nearest him!
Sit at his feet in quiet mirth.
And let him see arise
A clearer sun and greener earth
Within thy loving eyes! --

VII

Ah, loving eyes! that used to lift
Your childhood to my face --
That leave a memory on the gift
I look on in your place --
May bright-eyed hosts your guardians be
From all but thankful tears, --
While, brightly as you turn on me
Ye meet th' advancing years!





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