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To a Little Child

From the Rock Island Argus, June 10, 1914. By Henry Howland.

I stand and wonder, looking down at you;
    The world, all unexplored, before you lies;
Who knows what Fate may summon you to do,
    To what high summit you may proudly rise?

It may be that words written by your pen
    Shall live as long as art has power to please;
You may be called to lead and govern men,
    Great ships may bear your flag o’er many seas.

The might that Caesar won you may surpass,
    A Raphael’s brush may e’en descend to you;
It may be that your name in shining brass
    Shall claim the love of all who pause to view.

Napoleon and Shakespeare may be thrown
    Within the shadow you shall some day cast;
But probably you’ll live to grieve and groan,
    And get a mere three-line “obit” at last.

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