Selected American and British Poems


“If I Were a Sunbeam”

by Lucy Larcom
Additional Information
  • Year Published: 0
  • Language: English
  • Country of Origin: United States of America
  • Source: Walter Barnes, ed., Types of Children’s Literature: A Collection of the World’s Best Literature for Children, For Use in Colleges, Normal Schools and Library Schools
  • Readability:
    • Flesch–Kincaid Level: 1.2
  • Word Count: 143
  • Genre: Poetry
  • Keywords: fantasy
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“If I were a sunbeam,
   I know what I’d do;
I would seek white lilies,
   Rainy woodlands through.
I would steal among them,
   Softest light I’d shed,
Until every lily
   Raised its drooping head.

“If I were a sunbeam,
   I know where I’d go;
Into lowliest hovels,
   Dark with want and woe:
Till sad hearts looked upward,
   I would shine and shine;
Then they’d think of heaven,
   Their sweet home and mine.”

Art thou not a sunbeam,
   Child, whose life is glad
With an inner radiance
   Sunshine never had?
O, as God hath blessed thee,
   Scatter rays divine!
For there is no sunbeam
   But must die or shine.