Oh! bliss for them when in that infant face
They now the unfolding faculties descry,
And fondly gazing, trace—or think they trace
The first faint speculation in that eye,
Which hitherto hath roll'd in vacancy!
Oh! bliss in that soft countenance to seek
Some mark of recognition, and espy
The quiet smile which in the innocent cheek
Of kindness and of kind its consciousness doth speak!
For him, if born among their native tribe,
Some haughty name his parents had thought good,
As weening that therewith they should ascribe
The strength of some fierce tenant of the wood,
The water, or the serial solitude,
Jaguar or vulture, water-wolf or snake.
The beast that prowls abroad in search of blood,
Or reptile that within the treacherous brake
Waits for the prey, upcoil'd, its hunger to aslake.