A little child, a limber elf,Singing, dancing to itself,A fairy thing with red round cheeks,That always finds, and never seeks,Makes such a vision to the sightAs fills a father’s eyes with light ;And pleasures flow in so thick and fastUpon his heart, that he at lastMust needs express his love’s excessWith words of unmeant bitterness.Perhaps ’tis pretty to force togetherThoughts so all unlike each other ;To mutter and mock a broken charm,To dally with wrong that does no harm.Perhaps ’tis tender too and prettyAt each wild word to feel withinA sweet recoil of love and pity.And what, if in a world of sin(O sorrow and shame should this be true !)Such giddiness of heart and brainComes seldom save from rage and pain,So talks as it’s most used to do.
― James Gillman
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