My fairest child, I have no song to give you;
No lark could pipe in skies so dull and gray;
Yet, if you will, one quiet hint I'll leave you,
For every day.
I'll tell you how to sing a clearer carol
Than lark who hails the dawn or breezy down
To earn yourself a purer poet's laurel
Than Shakespeare's crown.
Be good, sweet maid, and let who can be clever;
Do lovely things, not dream them, all day long;
And so make Life, and Death, and that For Ever,
One grand sweet song.
February 1, 1856.