From torrid heat to frigid cold
I've rovered land and sea;
And now, with halting heart I hold
My grandchild on my knee:
Yet while I've eighty years all told,
Of moons she has but three.
She sleeps, that fragile miniature
Of future maidenhood;
She will be wonderful, I'm sure,
As over her I brood;
She is so innocent, so pure,
I know she will be good.
My way I've won from woe to weal,
And hard has been the fight;
Yet in my ingle-nook I feel
A wondrous peace to-night;
And over me serenely steal
Warm waves of love and light.
'What sloppy stuff!' I hear you say.
'Give us a lusty song.'
Alas! I'm bent and gnarled and grey,--
My life may not be long:
Yet let its crown of glory be
This child upon me knee.