Late in the day, the narrator finds himself on a stagecoach. During his travels, he notices a little girl and her mother sitting near him. The child appears to be engrossed in her own thoughts and seems to be looking at nothing in particular.
Being a kindly old man, the narrator invites the pretty little girl to look up and to notice her surroundings and the view before her ('bid her turn those pretty eyes and see/The wide extended prospect'). However, the girl sadly confesses that she is blind and therefore, cannot contemplate the same scenes that her companion can see.
At this point, the child's mother pipes up and explains how she came to discover that her child was blind. Accordingly, one sunny day, the mother saw her child lay aside her needlework. Thinking that her daughter was shirking her duty, the mother began to scold her. However, the child innocently answered that it was too dark to see and promised that she would take up her work again when day came. When she spoke these words, it was a bright, sunny day. However, the mother explains that her daughter could not see the bright rays of the sun ('The sun shone bright upon her when she spoke,/ And yet her eyes received no ray of light).