I took a piece of plastic clay
And idly fashioned it one day,
And, as my finger pressed it still,
It moved and yielded to my will.
I came again when days were past—
The bit of clay was hard at last,
The form I gave it, it still bore,
But I could change that form no more.
I took a piece of living clay
And gently formed 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 wore,
And I could change him nevermore.