Anna Maria, born 2nd June 1820


My Anna, summer laughs in mirth, 

And we will of the party be, 

And leave the crickets in the hearth 

For green fields' merry minstrelsy. 

I see thee now with little hand 

Catch at each object passing by, 

The happiest thing in all the land 

Except the bee and butterfly. 

The weed-based arches' walls that stride 

O'er where the meadow water falls 

Will turn thee from thy path aside 

To gaze upon the mossy walls. 

And limpid brook that leaps along, 

Gilt with the summer's burnished gleam, 

Will stop thy little tale or song 

To gaze upon its crimping stream. 

Thou'lt leave my hand with eager speed 

The new-discovered things to see— 

The old pond with its water-weed 

And danger-daring willow-tree, 

Who leans, an ancient invalid, 

O'er spots where deepest waters be. 

In sudden shout and wild surprise 

I hear thy simple wonderment, 

As new things meet thy childish eyes 

And wake some innocent intent; 

As bird or bee or butterfly 

Bounds through the crowd of merry leaves 

And starts the rapture of thine eye 

To run for what it ne'er achieves; 

The simple reasoning arguments 

Shaped to thy fancy's little view, 

The joys and rapturous intents 

That everywhere pursue. 

So dreamed I over hope's young boon, 

When merry summer was returning, 

And little thought that time so soon 

Would change my early hope to mourning. 

I thought to have heard thee mid the bowers 

To mock the cuckoo's merry song, 

And see thee seek thy daisy flowers 

That's been thy anxious choice so long. 

But thou art on the bed of pain, 

So tells each poor forsaken toy. 

Ah, could I see that happy hour 

When these shall be thy heart's employ, 

And see thee toddle o'er the plain, 

And stoop for flowers, and shout for joy. 

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