Little children, how I love them!
You may teach them as you will,
You may strive to make them lofty,
They are little children still.
Let them live for childhood's pleasures,
You can do-it if you try.
They are the choicest of our treasures,
And will grow up by and by.
And when grown to men and women,
Cast alone' upon Life's sea
Whether rowing, whether drifting,
Their minds all full of care will be.
Some may have the best of life.
As they launch their boat,
But somewhere down the stream of time,
They'll find their bark won’t float;
While others slowly work their way,
Up the ladder, round by round:
Sometimes worry, oft dismay,
But success in time is found.
If they keep on up the ladder,
They will sometime reach the top,
And at last the summit gained,
They will find they have time to stop.
Little children, give them freedom,
Like the birds in air,
For with age, where'er they be,
The will have enough of care.