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Poem by Edmund William Gosse

To a Child

             E. T. G.

Thou hast the colors of the spring,
The gold of kingcups triumphing,
     ⁠The blue of wood-bells wild;
But winter thoughts thy spirit fill,
And thou art wandering from us still,
     ⁠Too young to be our child.

Yet have thy fleeting smiles confessed,
Thou dear and much-desired guest,
     ⁠That home is near at last;
Long lost in high mysterious lands,
Close by our door thy spirit stands,
     ⁠Its journey well-nigh past.

Oh, sweet bewildered soul, I watch
The fountains of thine eyes, to catch
⁠     New fancies bubbling there,
To feel our common light, and lose
The flush of strange ethereal hues
⁠     Too dim for us to share!

Fade, cold immortal lights, and make
This creature human for my sake,
     ⁠Since I am nought but clay;
An angel is too fine a thing
To sit beside my chair and sing,
     ⁠And cheer my passing day.

I smile, who could not smile, unless
The air of rapt unconsciousness
⁠     Passed, with the fading hours;
I joy in every childish sign
That proves the stranger less divine
⁠     And much more meekly ours.

I smile, as one by night who sees,
Through mist of newly-budded trees,
⁠     The clear Orion set,
And knows that soon the dawn will fly
In fire across the riven sky,
⁠     And gild the woodlands wet.

Edmund William Gosse

Edmund William Gosse's other poems:
  1. At the Play
  2. The Mænad's Grave
  3. Alere Flammam
  4. Greece and England
  5. Dedication to Austin Dobson

Poems of the other poets with the same name:

  • Francis Thompson To a Child ("Whenas my life shall time with funeral tread")
  • Henry Longfellow To a Child ("Dear child! how radiant on thy mother's knee")
  • Louise Guiney To a Child ("Dear Owain, when you are minded")

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