Janet Hamilton

1795-1873 / Scotland

Spring Scene In The Country

Singing, skipping, shaking back
Curls of gold, or brown, or black,
From soft cheeks and laughing eyes-
Careless, gay as butterflies-
Comes a fair and girlish band
Bearing flowers in lap and hand;
Golden coltsfoot, primrose pale,
Hyacinths from woody vale;
Yellow willow buds, that smell
Of the wild bee's honeyed cell;
Daisies, dandelion's strung,
Round each neck and bosom hung.
Sweet and swift run childhood's hours,
Spent with streams, and trees, and flowers;
One leads on a prattling brother,
Baby sister bears another,
Oft resigned to willing arms-
Girls still doat on infant charms;
How they hug and kiss her, crowing
Babe, with health and beauty glowing.
Your sweet voices, dear wee lassies,
O'er my heart like music passes;
Bonnetless and barefoot dancing,
On your homeward path advancing.
Ah, your homes! your state is lowly,
But your mission, high and holy
Shall be in the future, when,
Mothers ye of future men,
Wield a power within the nation,
In the work of education,
Which priests and sages, Peers and Commons,
Cannot wield-that power is woman's.
'Tis not meetings, speeches, grants,
Laying bare the crimes and wants
Of your juvenile offenders-
But the fact experience tenders,
That the power above all others
Youth to train is this, good mothers!
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