by Ada Cambridge
Before me now a little picture lies-
A little shadow of a childish face,
Childishly sweet, yet with the dawning grace
Of thought and wisdom on her lips and eyes.
Fair, oval, broad-brow'd face-small, delicate head-
Transparent skin, with blue veins shining through-
All the soft outlines, beautiful and true,
Bring me the echo of the words "God said."
Made "in our image"-sure 'tis that we see,
God's likeness, in the fair face of a child,
By the world's sin and passion undefiled-
Ay, as I look, it seems quite plain to me.
The light wherein the little features shine,
Strange, mystic light, so undefined and faint,
So far too pure for any words to paint-
'Tis a reflection of the Face divine.
Some day the earthly shadows will be cast
Across that sunshine-it may be to dim
Awhile the visible countenance of Him;
But 'twill be there-the likeness-to the last.
Some day the lucid waters, in which lie
Pictured those glorious lineaments, will be
Stirred up and troubled like a stormy sea;-
But they will yet re-settle-by-and-by.
They will re-settle when the soul is still'd,
Its passions, its wild longings, and its pain;
The pure reflection will shine out again
When earth's hopes are relinquish'd, unfulfill'd.
They will re-settle in those after-years
When life's hard lessons have been conned and learn'd;
When this child's beauty will have all return'd,
More lovely for the trouble and the tears.
They will re-settle in the calm of death,
When the sweet eyes are laid asleep, and when
The heart is hush'd. Truly God's likeness then-
The mirror clear, unsullied by a breath.
Ah! while I look, and trace each tender line,
I think most of the day when I shall see
The dear face in that perfect purity,
Its mortal features clothed with the divine.
This self-same face, but with the image bright,
Nevermore undefined, and faint, and dim;
This self-same face, yet like the face of Him,
In glory and in beauty infinite.
Last updated July 15, 2015