I touch the spring—and lo, a face
Which for these many years
Within my heart has had a place,
A tender place—appears.
The large dark eyes look up to mine,
So like thyself!—the cheek,
The brow, the features, all are thine:
Speak to me, brother, speak!
And tell me of each grief and care:
For be they great or small,
A sister's heart would take a share—
And, if it could, take all!
And tell me of each hopeful plan,
And how the future seems,—
Oh, may that future to the man
Be all the boy now dreams.
I've heard thee say thou wouldst be great,
And with the gifted shine;
'T is well; but there's a nobler fate,
I pray it may be thine:
It is to be an honest man,—
To elevate thy race,
And like the good Samaritan
Do good in every place;
To struggle bravely for the right,
Though kings defend the wrong;
To live as in thy Maker's sight,
And in his strength be strong;
To put the spotless garment on,
To keep it pure and white,
And when the endless day shall dawn
Receive a crown of light.
Dear brother, fame is but a breath,
So I implore for thee
A holy life, a happy death,
A blest eternity.