Stephen Vincent Benet

Girl Child

Like a flower, like a tulip, 
So fresh, so hardy, 
So slim, so hasting, 
The nose tip-tilted, 
The mouth her mother's, 
The eyes brighter 
Than rabbit's or squirrel's 
Suddenly peering 
From bough or burrow; 
All this in motion, 
Motion and swaying, 
As if all life 
Were a wave of ocean, 
As if all life 
Were the clean stalk springing 
Brightly, greenly, 
From earth unworn, 
To sway with sunlight, 
To drink clear freshets, 
Swiftly, oh, swiftly 
To swell its bubble, 
The staunch red flower 
Hardy and mortal, 
The bright flag 
On the new hill, 
Mortal, gallant, 
As a cockerel's cry. 

To this child, 
To all swift children, 
My great thanks 
For their clear honor, 
The hound running, 
The flying fire.