Life's Changes, by William H. Bushnell

Life's Changes

On a green, mossy bank, near a swift speeding brook
When May was but roses and song,
A laughing babe played with a frail, tiny seed,
As the hours sped golden along:
She tossed it aloft in the glittering air,
Then caught as it fell from on high,
Till tired of play threw it careless away,
And the brooklet sped merrily by.   The seasons rolled on. A fair girl in her pride
Of beauty and tresses of gold,
Stooped to pick a bouquet of the dew-laden buds
That grew where the tiny seed rolled;
She drank in their perfume, with lips whose deep red
Shamed even the rose buds, and high
Her silver voice rang in its innocent mirth--
While the brook still sped merrily by.   On, on rolled the years. A woman's hand plucked
The flowers at soft eventide,
To twine in her tresses, now deeper than gold,
Ere she stood at the altar--a bride!
A song on her lips slumbered sweetly and warm,
And Love was the theme of the lay,
While her heart danced as light as the sun-gilded waves
Of the brook as they hurried away.   Again a May came. A mother stood there
And robbed the rose-tree of its charms,
To twine a sweet wreath for the soft, tiny brow
Of the loved one she tossed in her arms;
And sweeter, though softer her matronly song
Filled the listening ear with its lay--
'Twas a heart gush of love and praise that thrilled forth--
Yet the brooklet kept ebbing away.   A score more of years and a widow knelt low
Where the babe tossed the tiny seed high:
In vain looked she now for blossom or bud.
And her laughter had changed to a sigh:
The rose-tree was dying, and soon withered leaves
Graced her bier as it slow passed along--
It was all of the babe and the seed that remained,
Yet the brooklet sped on with a song. - William H. Bushnell

William H. Bushnell