Little Kate.

A poem by Mary Gardiner Horsford

Beside me, in the golden light
That slants upon the floor,
She twines the many-colored silks
Her dimpled fingers o'er;
Uplifting now and then her eye,
Or praise or blame in mine to spy.

For her sweet sake I've cast aside
The books I've loved so well,
And given up my being to
Affection's mighty spell;
Ambition's visions vanish all,
Before the music of her call.

The fancy of the past, that lent
To jewels bright and rare
Ascendency at every birth
In this our planet's air,
Hath to October's children given
The opal with its hues of Heaven.

The golden sunlight in the sky,
The red leaf on the plain;
Beneath the opal's changeful light
Hope and Misfortune reign;
And mid gay leaves of wondrous dyes,
My darling first unclosed her eyes.

I cannot in the future look
The augury to prove,
But earthly joys and earthly woes
Must human spirits move;
And she, like all, must strive with care,
Disasters meet, and suffering bear.

But I will teach her hopefully
To meet what Fate betides,
To live and labor earnestly,
In narrow path or wide;
And, with salt tears on paling cheek,
A benediction still to speak.

And if in some sweet inner sphere,
Some home of love apart,
An angel's duty she fulfil
With but a woman's heart,
Haply the red leaf, in its advent, may
Find Hope o'er sorrow dominant for aye.

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