My romping, joyous little son and I.
Bright was the rippling stream and we, withal,
So gay, we noted not the flying hours
'Til suddenly the sun had set, and gray,
Dim shadows o'er the earth began to creep.
No longer now he sang in childish glee,
Or sought the modest flower in cranny hid;
But close beside me walked in sober mood,
His hand close-clasped in mine; then coaxingly,
"Tis dark, dear father; please, sir, take me home!"
My little son to manhood now has grown;
No longer fears he shadows dim and gray;
In fearlessness of youth, he braves the dark,
But I, who know the dangers of the dark
And all the ills which do in darkness lurk,
Am fearful, lest he stumble and so fall
Into the pit: but when Life's Day is done,
When burst all the bubbles he has chased,
And creeping come the shadows of the night,
Do Thou, dear Father, hold his trembling hand
And through the darkness lead him gently Home.