Home page The Occident and American Jewish Advocate Jews in the Civil War Jews in the Wild West History of Palestine The Occident Virtual Library Shopping Mall of Zion AHAVA Hero Products 250x250

בס"ד

An Infant’s Smile.

By Grace Aguilar

Smile on, sweet babe! would I could know
Whence came that soft and beaming glow,
On thy sweet Features thrown;
What joyous thought that smile has wreathed,
What inward voice of gladness breathed,
To make that look thine own.

We held not forth a glitt’ring toy,
Nor woo’d thee with light song to joy,
Nor danc’d thee high in air;
But gently in the cradle laid,
Thine own sweet thought that smile had stay’d,
And fixed its impress there.

Whence came it? tho’ thy mother bends
Caressing, as thy wants she tends,
Thou dost not know her voice;
A stranger’s arm might softly hold thee,
A stranger’s breast in love enfold thee,
And yet thou wouldst rejoice.

Thou hast no dream of Love’s strong power,
The ecstatic joy, yet anxious hour
Thine infancy doth claim;
Thou hast no mem’ries of the past,
No thought the present to o’ercast,
Nor dream of future fame.

Oh what seest thou? what fairy dream,
Doth o’er thins infant spirit gleam?
By darker souls unknown?
Hear’st thou sweet voices ling’ring nigh?
Canst thou thro’ space and ether fly?
Make lovelier worlds thine own?

And in thine innocence, art twined
With purer beings of soul and mind? 
That fly, when thou wilt know
This earth’s o’erclouded tale of life,
Of sorrow, and of sin and strife,
And Love’s deep rosy glow?—­

Thou art immortal! God hath placed
The breath of life in thee, and traced
His Image, babe, on thine!
Oh doth a rainbow colour’d thought,
By ministering spirits wrought,
Before thy fancy shine?

How may’st thou answer? Loveliest,
Thou wilt forget what thoughts had rest 
On each forgotten hour;
Thou wilt look back, in vain,—no dream,
Of what thou wert, will faintly gleam,
Thro’ more awakened power.

Vainly wouldst thou the past recall,
What did thine infancy befall,
Its joyance and its care;
For we have smil’d perchance like thee,
In vanished hours of infant glee,
Yet only know—we were.

Smile! while we clasp thee, gentle one,
Whom such sweet prayers are whisper’d on,
Smile in thy baby glee!
One lovely thought that smile expresseth.
Babe as thou art, a FATHER blesseth,
A GOD hath love for thee!

1842.