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Strong, tender, innocently wise,
The child's heart with the woman's thought.
And one shall never quite forget
The voice that called from dream and play,
The firm but kindly hand that set
Her feet in learning's pleasant way,—
The joy of Undine soul-possessed,
The wakening sense, the strange delight
That swelled the fabled statue's breast
And filled its clouded eyes with sight!
O Youth and Beauty, loved of all!
Ye pass from girlhood's gate of dreams;
In broader ways your footsteps fall,
Ye test the truth of all that seems.
Her little realm the teacher leaves,
She breaks her wand of power apart,
While, for your love and trust. she gives
The warm thanks of a grateful heart.
Hers is the sober summer noon
Contrasted with your morn of spring,—
The waning with the waxing moon,
The folded with the outspread wing.
Across the distance of the years
She sends her God-speed back to you;
She has no thought of doubts or fears:
Be but yourselves, be pure, be true,
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