Archive for August 11th, 2019

Sunday, 11 August 2019

The Children’s Ball by Maria Smith Adby

Brilliant and gay was the lighted hall,
‘Twas the night of an infant festival;
There were sylph-like forms in the mazy dance,
And there were the tutored step and glance,
And the gay attire, and the hopes and fears
That might well bespeak maturer years;
The sight might to common eyes seem glad,
But I own that it made my spirit sad.

I saw not in all that festive scene.
The cloudless brow, and the careless mien;
But vanity sought the stranger’s gaze,
And envy shrunk from another’s praise,
And pride repelled with disdainful eye,
The once-loved playmate of days gone by;
Alas ! that feelings so far from mild,
Should enter the breast of a little child.

And how, thought I, on the morrow’s rise,
Will these fair young sleepers ope their eyes;
Will their smiles the freshness of morning speak,
And the roses of health suffuse their cheek?
No, with a wearied mind and look,
They shall turn from the pencil, the globe, and book,
A longing and feverish glance to cast,
On the joys and pains of the evening past.

Parents! ’tis all too soon to press
The glittering fetters of worldliness,
On those tender years, to which belong
The merry sport, and the bird-like song;
What fruit can the trees of autumn bring,
If the fragile blossoms be nipt in spring?
Such stores shall meridian life impart,
If ye spoil the bloom of the infant heart!

From: Abdy, Mrs., Poems, J. Robins and Sons: London, 1834, pp. 29-30.

Date: 1834

By: Maria Smith Abdy (1797-1867)