Buried in childhood's cloudless dreams, a fair-haired nursling lay,
A soft smile hovered round the lips as if still oped to pray;
And then a vision came to him, of beauty, strange and mild,
Such as may only fill the dreams of a pure sinless child.
Stood by his couch an angel fair, with radiant, glitt'ring wings
Of hues as bright as the living gems the fount to Heaven flings;
With loving smile he bent above the fair child cradled there,
While sounds of sweet seraphic power stole o'er the fragrant air.
"Child, list to me," he softly said, "on mission high I'm here:
Sent by that Glorious One to whom Heav'n bows in loving fear;
I seek thee now, whilst thou art still on the threshold of earth's strife,
To speak of what thou knowest not yet, this new and wond'rous life.
"Dost cling to it? dost find this earth a fair and lovely one?
Dost love its bright-dyed birds and flowers, its radiant golden sun?
I come to bid thee leave it all - to turn from its bright bloom,
And, having closed thine eyes in death, descend into the tomb.
"Thou shudderest, child! with restless gaze from me thou turn'st away;
'Mid summer flowers and singing birds wouldst thou remain to play;
Thou still wouldst bask in the dear light of thy fond father's smile,
And on thy mother's doating heart would linger yet awhile.
"'Tis well, sweet child, I blame thee not, but in spheres far away
Are blossoms lovelier far than those which tempt thee here to stay;
And if the love of parents fond with joy thy heart doth fill,
In those bright distant realms is One who loves thee better still!
"That One for thee in suffering lived - for thy sake, too, he died;
Oh! like the ocean is His love, as deep, my child, as wide.
Leave, then, this earth ere hideous sin thy spotless brow shall dim -
One struggling breath, one parting pang, and then thou'lt be with Him!"
A smile lit up the sleeper's face, but soon it softly fled,
The rose leaf cheeks and lips grew wan - could it be the child was dead?
Yes, dead - and spared the ills of life, and in bright bliss above
The pure soul nestles in the light of God's unbounded Love.