She stands before her looking-glass,1
I see the busy handmaid pass2
On fairy work intent ;3
Pure white the robe that round her flows,4
And fair the flush that comes and goes5
On cheeks of rose and lily blent.6
I watch her from my cushioned nook,7
I see the shy and sparkling look8
That tells of sweet delight :9
And while the handmaid smooths adown10
The lustrous curls of ruddy brown,11
I hold her wreath of snowdrops white.12
I hold the wreath with trembling hand.13
Ah, daughter mine ! to-night you stand14
Beside a mystic door :15
The school-room porch was closed to-day,16
Your childish tasks are put away17
With childish dreams for evermore !18
Life lies before you full and fair,19
The hour has struck, you claim your share20
Of pleasure’s scented flowers ;21
Your share of laugh, and dance, and song,22
And all sweet doings that belong23
To youth in its unfolding hours.24
So be it, dear, pass out, pass free25
To scenes of cheer, to sounds of glee ;26
But, darling, ere you go,27
Kneel lowly down at mother’s feet,28
And let me kiss that forehead sweet,29
And whisper something soft and low.30
My pretty flower, so fenced around31
In love’s fair plot of garden-ground,32
From touch of worldly blight :33
My milk-white flower with vernal heart,34
Through quick, fond tears that trembling start,35
I crown you with my snowdrops white.36
Light rest the blossoms on your brow,37
God keep it free from care as now,38
God bless you, daughter dear !39
God guide your feet to sheltered ways,40
And love and comfort all your days41
When mother is no longer here.42
But oh, my child ! my dear, one child !43
God help you, pure and undefiled,44
To choose the better part.45
Life may bring roses for the brow46
I crown with love and blessing now,47
But like a snowdrop keep your heart !48