Home  »  A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895  »  A Child’s Portrait

Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908). A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895. 1895.

William James Dawson b. 1854

A Child’s Portrait

HER face is hushed in perfect calm,

Her lips half-open hint the psalm

The angels sing, who wear God’s palm:

And in her eyes a liquid light,

With somewhat of a starry sheen,

Comes welling upward from the white

And vestal soul that throbs within.

A golden tangle is her hair

That holds the sunlight in its snare;

And one pure lily she doth wear

In her white robe: and she doth seem

A flower-like creature, who will fade

If suns strike down too rude a beam,

Or winds blow roughly on her shade.

The golden ladders of the Dawn

Meet at her feet, where on the lawn

She stands, in tender thought withdrawn:

And little wonder would it be,

If on those slanting stairs she trod,

And, with one farewell smile toward me,

Were caught into the smile of God.