PEACE, your little child is dead:
Peace, I cannot weep with you;
I have no more tears to shed;
I have mourned my baby too—
I, that ne'er was wooed or wed.
Love has looked within your eyes,
Love has filled your hungry heart;
You have borne the babe, your prize;
You have blossomed, done your part,
Though the flower faded lies.
But to me was love denied—
God had said it might not be;
Still my hungry hopes abide;
All the motherhood in me
Aches—and starves, unsatisfied.
How my soul has yearned for thee,
Sweet, sweet unborn child of mine!
How thy life would tenderly
Round thy mother's life entwine—
Hope of hopes that may not be.
How thy hands would pluck my breast!
I have felt them o'er and o'er,
And thy soft, sweet skin caressed,
Baby mine I never bore!
Did I dream so?—dreams are best.
You have nothing now to fear,
Mother; you have fondled him,
Held his pretty face so near,
Laid your lips to each soft limb—
He is dead, but he was dear.
You have something you may mourn,
Some sweet memory to kiss;
I am lonelier, more forlorn;
God has left me only this—
My sweet babe that was not born.