Gentle Lily with this Album my warmest wishes take,
I know its pages oft thou'lt ope and prize it for my sake,
For, though a trifling offering, it bears the magic spell
Of coming from the hand of one who loves thee passing well.
O could thy young life's course be traced by will or wish of mine,
A smiling, joyous future - a bright lot would be thine,
No cloud should mar the gladness of thy fair youth's op'ning morn,
The roses of thy girlhood should be free from blight or thorn.
Howe'er, 'tis better ordered by a Blessed Power above
Who sends us cross and trial, as a token of His Love;
For we'd cling, ah! far too closely to earthly joys and ties,
Unwilling e'er to leave them for our home beyond the skies.
As the pages of this volume, unwritten, stainless, fair,
Life opens out before thee, let it be thine aim and care
To keep the record spotless, and ever free from all
That thou might'st wish hereafter remorseful to recall.
Not seeking to o'ershadow thy smiling azure eyes,
Nor see that girlish bosom heave with sad thoughts and sighs,
I would whisper low, while wishing thee, all earthly, cloudless bliss,
Be life a preparation for a better life than this!