SHE was my idol. Night and day, to scan
The fine expansion of her form, and mark
The unfolding mind, like vernal rose-bud, start
To sudden beauty, was my chief delight.
To find her fairy footsteps following mine,
Her hand upon my garments, or her lip
Long sealed to mine, and in the watch of night
The quiet breath of innocence to feel
Soft on my cheek, was such a full content
Of happiness, as none but mothers know.
Her voice was like some tiny harp that yields
To the slight fingered breeze, and as it held
Brief converse with her doll, or playful soothed
The moaning kitten, or with patient care
Conned o'er the alphabet‚but most of all,
Its tender cadence in her evening prayer
Thrilled on the ear like some ethereal tone
Heard in sweet dreams.
But now alone I sit,
Musing of her, and dew with mournful tears
Her little robes, that once with woman's pride
I wrought, as if there were a need to deck
What God hath made so beautiful. I start,
Half fancying from her empty crib there comes
A restless sound, and breathe the accustomed words
"Hush! Hush thee, dearest." Then I bend and weep
As though it were a sin to speak to one
Whose home is with the angels.
Gone to God!
And yet I wish I had not seen the pang
That wrung her features, nor the ghastly white
Settling around her lips. I would that Heaven
Had taken its own, like some transplanted flower
Blooming in all its freshness.
Gone to God!
Be still, my heart! what could a mother's prayer,
In all the wildest ecstasies of hope,
Ask for its darling like the bliss of Heaven?

Last modified 16 February 2008