CHILD --- forgive me if I call thee child ---
          The weight of my mortality in years,
          I reckon not, but tribulations wild,
          With stormy battle, stress of life and fears.
          I see thee once again athwart the mist
          Of Time, and past the wane of many moons
          Not changed, with still a change --- the same, I wist,
          Yet not --- as purest daylight's change from noon.


          I then beheld thee with thy tresses rolled
          In darkling curls and masses long adown:
          A child thou wert, in maiden's youthful mould,
          With childhood's pensive magic round thee thrown.  {231}
          To see thee changed, ah! 'tis a sign of Time's
          Unending, ceaseless march.  You come again
          With those thick dusky masses coiled betimes
          And coifed around thy head in plait and chain.


          'Tis but a trifling change --- a petty pace,
          But fraught with all the force of Yet To Be:
          For to mine eyes thy simple act of grace
          Is one step onward, whither no one can see ---
          A little further to the Great Unknown
          By ways where Life's Periodics plants her rood
          The Living Progress landmarks all alone,
          Soon passed: --- thou reachest on to Womanhood!


          Fair --- God grant that it be fair --- thy world!
          With influence of Goodness shed around.
          Far from thee may the tongue of Spite uncurl
          With venom'd spleen, and vicious raucous sound!
          Have mercy, God!  I am not proud, not proud!
          But all my pent-up wrath I pour on Spite.
          It is enough!  Forgive these murmurings loud
          Against the Powers and Majesties of Night.


       Good child, you will again depart --- Fates weave their spell,
       All hail!  God-speed!  May God be with you! and --- Farewell!
                                                    D. HAMISH JENKINS.