Tuesday, September 2, 2014

If It Be A Daughter

Teach her to be as gentle
As the dew of dawn
Settling on a blade of grass.
Show her the grandeur in a ragged leaf
And in a winding road,
And in a single star.

Teach her to be forgiving
Tolerant, kind,
For kindness is lovelier
Than any glittering gown,
Or any silver slipper.

Show her the greatness of all
Simple things and the majesty
Of a roaring, foaming, sea.
Place in her hands
The shining threads
With which to weave ideals
And with which to bind securely
The love of life
Given her by you.

Teach her that if she would be great,
She would make fine use of common things. . .
A tiny house with curtains,
A fireplace, a grate of cinders,
A kitchen, and a man and child.

Give to her the knowledge
You have gained,
From singing winds and bending trees
And wistful smiles.

Show her the sparkle of
The yet uncovered diamond
In a dreamed-of scheme.

Point out to her the sun behind a cloud
 That she may never cry to God:
"You did not hear!"

Give her a belief in books.
Though they be but paper and worn
And of cracked binding.

For if she would know peace in spirit
And in heart,
She would read with all the eagerness
 Of a flower, forcing its bloom
Up, above the earth.
And lastly,
Teach her to live as quietly
As the magic passing of the moon
Over a smooth, clear space of sky.


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