I took a piece of plastic clay,
And idly fashioned it one day,
And as my fingers pursued it still,
It moved and yielded at my will.
It came of age when days were past,
And the piece of clay was hard at last...
The form I gave it, it still bore,
But I could change it no more.
I took a piece of living clay,
And gently formed it day by day,
And molded it with power and art
A young child’s soft and yielding heart.
I came again when years were gone,
It was a man I looked upon.
He still that early impress wore,
And I could change him never more.—Anonymous