My Three Sons Enjoying Spring At Last

Dear boy, thy momentary laughter rings
Sincerely out, and that spontaneous glee,
Seeming to need no hint from outward things,
Breaks forth in sudden shoutings, loud and free.

From what hid fountains doth thy joyance flow,
That borrows nothing from the world around?
Its springs must deeper lie than we can know,
A well whose springs lie safely underground.

So be it ever--and, thou happy boy,
When time, that takes these wild delights away,
Gives thee a measure of sedater joy,
Which, unlike this, shall ever with thee stay;

Then may that joy, like this, to outward things
Owe nothing, but lie safe beneath the sod,
A hidden fountain fed from unseen springs,
From the glad-making river of our God.

To A Child Playing
by Richard Chenevix Trench (1807-1886)


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