A Celebration of Women Writers

"The Child's Monitor." by Adelaide O'Keefe (1776-1855)
Publication: Taylor, Jane & Taylor, Ann. Little Ann and Other Poems. London, New York: George Routledge & Sons, 1883. pp. 39-40.

Editor: Mary Mark Ockerbloom

[Page 39]


THE wind blows down the largest tree,
And yet the wind I cannot see!
Playmates far off, who have been kind,
My thought can bring before my mind;
The past by it is present brought,
And yet I cannot see my thought;
The charming rose scents all the air,
Yet I can see no perfume there.
Blithe Robin's notes how sweet, how clear!
From his small bill they reach my ear,
And whilst upon the air they float,
I hear, yet cannot see a note.
When I would do what is forbid,
By something in my heart I'm chid;
When good, I think, then quick and pat,
That something says, "My child, do that:"
When I too near the stream would go,
So pleased to see the waters flow,

[Page 40]

That something says, without a sound,
"Take care, dear child, you may be drown'd: "
And for the poor whene'er I grieve,
That something says, "A penny give."

  Thus something very near must be,
Although invisible to me;
Whate'er I do, it sees me still:
O then, good Spirit, guide my will.


Editor: Mary Mark Ockerbloom