Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
 
268. To the Boy
 
Who Goes Daily Past My Windows Singing
 
By Elizabeth Clementine Kinney
 
 
THOU happiest thing alive,
  Anomaly of earth!
If sound thy lineage give,
  Thou art the natural birth
    Of affluent Joy—        5
  Thy mother’s name was Mirth,
    Thou little singing boy!
 
Thy star—it was a sun!
  Thy time the month of May,
When streams to music run,        10
  And birds sing all the day:
    Nature did tune
Thy gushing voice by hers;
    A fount in June
Not more the bosom stirs;        15
    A freshness flows
Through every bubbling note,—
    Sure Nature knows
The strains Art never wrote.
 
Where was the human curse,        20
  When thou didst spring to life?
All feel it less, or worse,
  In pain, in care, in strife.
    Its dreadful word
Fell from the lips of Truth;        25
    ’T is but deferred,
Unconscious youth!
    That curse on thee
Is sure some day to fall;
    Alas, more heavily        30
If Manhood takes it all!
 
I will not think of this—
  It robs me of my part
In thy outgushing bliss:
  No! keep thy glad young heart        35
    Turned toward the sun;—
      What yet shall be,
      None can foresee:
One thing is sure—that thou hast well begun!
 
Meantime shall others share,        40
  Wild minstrel-boy,
As I, to lighten care,
  The music of thy joy,—
    Like scents of flowers,
Along life’s wayside passed        45
    In dreary hours,—
Too sweet to last;
  Like touches soft
Of Nature, on those strings
  Within us, jarred so oft        50
By earth’s discordant things.
 

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