MY little maiden of four years old
(No myth, but a genuine child is she,
With her bronze-brown eyes, and her curls of gold)
Came, quite in disgust, one day, to me.
Rubbing her shoulder with rosy palm,—
As the loathsome touch seemed yet to thrill her,
She cried,—“Oh, mother, I found on my arm
A horrible, crawling caterpillar!”
And with mischievous smile she could scarcely smother,
Yet a glance, in its daring, half-awed and shy,
She added,—"While they were about it, mother
, I wish they’d just finished the butterfly!”
They were words to the thought of the soul that turns
From the coarser form of a partial growth,
Reproaching the Infinite Patience that yearns
With an unknown glory to crown them both.
Ah, look thou largely, with lenient eyes,
On whatso beside thee may creep and cling,
For the possible beauty that underlies
The passing phase of the meanest thing !
What if God’s great angels, whose waiting love
Beholdeth our pitiful life below,
From the holy height of their heaven above,
Couldn’t bear with the worm till the wings should grow ?