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Maidenhood

Written by: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow | Biography
 | Quotes (130) |
MAIDEN! with the meek brown eyes  
In whose orbs a shadow lies 
Like the dusk in evening skies! 

Thou whose locks outshine the sun  
Golden tresses wreathed in one 5 
As the braided streamlets run! 

Standing with reluctant feet  
Where the brook and river meet  
Womanhood and childhood fleet! 

Gazing with a timid glance 10 
On the brooklet's swift advance  
On the river's broad expanse! 

Deep and still that gliding stream 
Beautiful to thee must seem  
As the river of a dream.
15 Then why pause with indecision When bright angels in thy vision Beckon thee to fields Elysian? Seest thou shadows sailing by As the dove with startled eye 20 Sees the falcon's shadow fly? Hearest thou voices on the shore That our ears perceive no more Deafened by the cataract's roar? Oh thou child of many prayers! 25 Life hath quicksands Life hath snares! Care and age come unawares! Like the swell of some sweet tune Morning rises into noon May glides onward into June.
30 Childhood is the bough where slumbered Birds and blossoms many numbered;¡ª Age that bough with snows encumbered.
Gather then each flower that grows When the young heart overflows 35 To embalm that tent of snows.
Bear a lily in thy hand; Gates of brass cannot withstand One touch of that magic wand.
Bear through sorrow wrong and ruth 40 In thy heart the dew of youth On thy lips the smile of truth.
O that dew like balm shall steal Into wounds that cannot heal Even as sleep our eyes doth seal; 45 And that smile like sunshine dart Into many a sunless heart For a smile of God thou art.



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