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WHERE is it, mothers learn their love ?
Church a fountain springs
Hovers on softest wings.
What sparkles in that lucid flood
Out of a dear friend's side.
A few calm words of faith and prayer,
Earth's charmers never knew.
O happy arms, where cradled lies,
The darling of his grace!
Blest eyes, that see the smiling gleam
Touches the tender brow!
Or when the holy cross is sign'd,
To serve the Virgin-born.
But happiest ye, who seald and blest
To nurse for Jesus' sake:
To whom-as if in hallow'd air
A meaning half divine:
By whom Love's daily touch is seen
The deep yet eager view.
Who taught thy pure and even breath
with such sweet grace ? Whence thy reposing Faith,
Though in our frail embrace ?
O tender gem, and full of Heaven !
See we our God so nigh.
Sweet one, make haste and know Him too,
Thy dying sweets may prove.
OH say not, dream not, heavenly notes
To childish ears are vain, That the young mind at random floats,
And cannot reach the strain.
Dim or unheard, the words may fall,
And yet the heaven-taught mind May learn the sacred air, and all
The harmony unwind.
Was not our Lord a little child,
Taught by degrees to pray, By father dear and mother mild
Instructed day by day?
And lov'd He not of Heaven to talk
With children in His sight, To meet them in His daily walk,
And to His arms invite ?
What though around His throne of fire
The everlasting chant
In glory jubilant ?
Yet stoops He, ever pleas'd to mark
Our rude essays of love,
Heard by some twilight grove:
Yet is He near us, to survey
These bright and order'd files, Like spring-flowers in their best array,
All silence and all smiles,
Save that each little voice in turn
Some glorious truth proclaims, What sages would have died to learn,
Now taught by cottage dames.
And if some tones be false or low,
What are all prayers beneath But cries of babes, that cannot know
Half the deep thought they breathe?