She placed the pitcher on her head, With idle steps the way she took Across the pleasant field that led Down to the happy brook. The summer breeze was all her own, The new-mown hay was sweet for her, The birds sang in the very tone They knew she would prefer. Her thoughts are hardly thoughts at all, So dream-like through her brain they flit; Her little feet do rise and fall Without her knowing it. The spirit of the twilight eve, Vague, beautiful, and purposeless, Forbiddeth aught to vex or grieve, And doth in silence bless. She standeth by the brook, she sees How smooth its roughest ripples are; The leafy murmur of the trees Makes melody afar. A cloud can never mar the skies; The sun can never rise again; A thought of change would bring surprise, And be a thought of pain. Ah, child! the years that form thy past Are redolent with joys of spring! The coming years are coming fast; Alas! what will they bring? One hour is thine divinely dear, Enjoy it for its priceless good; 'Tis when thy childhood is as near As is thy womanhood!
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