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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889

The Child in the Street

By John James Piatt (1835–1917)

For a Book of Two

EVEN as tender parents lovingly

Send a dear child in some true servant’s care

Forth on the street, for larger light and air,

Feeling the sun her guardian will be,

And dreaming with a blushful pride that she

Will earn sweet smiles and glances everywhere,

From loving faces, and that passers fair

Will bend, and bless, and kiss her, when they see,

And ask her name, and if her home is near,

And think, “O gentle child, how blessed are they

Whose twofold love bears up a single flower!”

And so with softer musing move away:

We send thee forth, O Book, thy little hour—

The world may pardon us to hold thee dear.