I took a piece of plastic clay
And idly fashioned it one day,
And as my fingers pressed it, still
It moved and yielded to my will.
I came again when days went past:
The bit of clay was hard at last.
The form I gave it still it bore.
But I could change that form no more!
I took a piece of living clay,
And gently pressed it day by day,
And molded with my 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 bore,
And I could fashion him no more.