"My kite! my kite! I've lost my kite!
Oh! when I saw the steady flight,
With which she gained her lofty height,
How could I know, that letting go
That naughty string, would bring so low
My pretty, buoyant, darling kite,
To pass for ever out of sight?
"A purple cloud was sailing by,
With silver fringes, o'er the sky;
And then, I thought, it seemed so nigh,
I'd make my kite go up and light
Upon its edge, so soft and bright;
To see how noble, high and proud
She'd look, while riding on a cloud!
"As near her shining mark she drew,
I clapped my hands; the line slipped through
My silly fingers; and she flew,
Away! away! in airy play,
Right over where the water lay!
She veered and fluttered, swung and gave
A plunge, then vanished with the wave!
"I never more shall want to look
On that false cloud, or babbling brook;
Nor e'er to feel the breeze that took
My dearest joy, to thus destroy
The pastime of your happy boy.
My kite! my kite! how sad to think
She flew so high, so soon to sink!"
"Be this," the mother said, and smiled,
"A lesson to thee, simple child!
And when by fancies vain and wild,
As that which cost the kite that's lost,
Thy busy brain again is crossed,
Of shining vapor then beware,
Nor trust thy joys to fickle air!
"I have a darling treasure, too,
That sometimes would, by slipping through
My guardian hands, the way pursue,
From which, more tight than thou thy kite,
I hold my jewel, new and bright,
Lest he should stray without a guide,
To drown my hopes in sorrow's tide!"