We present this work in honor of the 160th anniversary of the poet’s death.
When children play the livelong day,
Like birds and butterflies;
As free and gay, sport life away,
And know not care nor sighs:
Then earth and air seem fresh and fair,
All peace below, above:
Life’s flowers are there, and everywhere
Is innocence and love.
When children pray with fear all day,
A blight must be at hand:
Then joys decay, and birds of prey
Are hovering o’er the land:
When young hearts weep as they go to sleep,
Then all the world seems sad:
The flesh must creep, and woes are deep
When children are not glad.