To Rebecca, Growing Up

LIGHT in your eyes says, ‘Years! Years!’
There grows more reason in your tears;
There grows more pity in your smile;
Dreams beset you, and beguile.
The round clear baby-cheek seems thin,
Though still it holds the dimples in.
Your lashes droop. Sometimes you look
A changeling from a fairy-book.
Soon you will see as straight as I,
And need no more to tease and ply
My patience, asking. You will know
Without my clumsy ‘This is so.’
Moods sweep you. Seasons sway you. Soon You will turn fey beneath the moon,
And delicately mad with spring.
Bird-passage sets you on the wing;
Leaf-fall casts shadows on your heart;
Red sunrise makes you laugh and start.
Could I have loved you so, when you,
Wrapped in sweet blankets white and blue,
Round-eyed, damp-curled, dimpled and dazed,
Met the world’s wonder blank, amazed?
Then you were mine — all mine. Ah, yes!
But only mine from helplessness.
Now you outrun me. Dream for dream,
You match me. Challenges that gleam
Like little swords dance through our days.
— Oh, what am I to blame or praise?
To trust you is a thing more rare
Than that old speechless darling care.
And can you trust me — you, who run So soon beyond my steadfast sun?
And can you trust me — you, who go So soon a road I cannot know?