To Little Mary White

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To Little Mary White  (1835) 
by Samuel Francis Smith

"Our First-Born."

Thou precious pledge of love,
Of ties that bind two kindred hearts in one,
Dear infant Mary, 't is with joy we hail
Thy coming; and with joy we both shall strive
TO make thee happy, useful, thro' the scenes
Of mortal life. Heaven watch o'er thee, my child,
Thro' all thy infant slumbers; guard thee well
In youth's most tempting perils; spare thy life,
To us as precious as our own, and give,
When life shall end, a crown of joy.

                                       But know,
My child, this is a world of grief and change;
And 't is a high behest, beyond the lot
Of changeful earthliness and worldly pride,
Which thou art sent to finish. When the day
That brings the power of knowing right and wrong
Shall be to thee, whate'er thou art, and where,
Know this, and 'grave it on thy memory,
Thy father and thy mother, fearing God,
Did, on this day which gave thee life and light,
To Him that life and light devote. Know, then,
Thou must not think thyself thine own on earth.
For thou art wholly consecrate to God,
Born for His service, given for His praise.
So live that thou mayst honor Him, and then
Sit down in heaven with all the glorified.

  Waterville, Aug. 5, 1835.