“Letter to My Daughter Margaretta, With a Set Of Merry’s Museum,” by William Ross Wallace (from Robert Merry’s Museum, April 1860; p. 121)
My daughter! ’tis no gift of gold,
And jewels torn from Orient mine,
That pride or avarice hangs around
The gorgeous, glittering shrine.
But, dear one, ’tis a gift of worth,
More precious than mere shining earth;
When it must melt in that last fire,
My present, like a deathless lyre,
Shall sound the truth, and grandly be
A denizen of eternity!
For only on its pages look;
Are they not of the soul a nurse,
A beautifier, and a key
To this great universe?
What facts upon the spirit start!
What sweet tales purify the heart!
What sentiments, as pure as flowers
By angels kissed in Eden bowers,
Lift up the soul to spheres that shine
Spotless, and nearest the Divine!
O see how bright-eyed MERRY leaps,
Free as a glad bird’s graceful wing;
Through Nature’s own God-given paths—
To sweet youth minist’ring!
O how he takes each little hand
In his, and leads through every land!
How mild, but firm, his voice that tells
Of Nature’s own miraculous spells
In ocean, mountain, vale, and sky,
Spreading with Heaven’s own love on high!
My daughter! then, wilt thou not hold
My gift more precious than all mines?
Dost thou not see its essence glow
On spiritual shrines?
My darling one! O let its light
Pierce ignorance’s brooding night;
And show the commonest wave and sod
Made glorious by the breath of God;
So shalt thou live—clear-minded, good,
A gem of perfect womanhood!