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Ella Wheeler Wilcox

(5 November 1850 - 30 October 1919 / Johnstown Center / Rock County / Wisconsin)

Mother's Loss


If I could clasp my little babe
Upon my breast to-night,
I would not mind the blowing wind
That shrieketh in affright.
Oh, my lost babe! my little babe,
My babe with dreamful eyes;
Thy bed is cold; and night wind bold
Shrieks woeful lullabies.

My breast is softer than the sod;
This room, with lighter hearth,
Is better place for thy sweet face
Than frozen mother eatrth.
Oh, my babe! oh, my lost babe!
Oh, babe with waxen hands,
I want thee so, I need thee so -
Come from thy mystic lands!

No love that, like a mother's fills
Each corner of the heart;
No loss like hers, that rends, and chills,
And tears the soul apart.
Oh, babe - my babe, my helpless babe!
I miss thy little form.
Would I might creep where thou dost sleep,
And clasp thee through the storm.

I hold thy pillow to my breast,
To bring a vague relief;
I sing the songs that soothed thy rest -
Ah me! no cheating grief.
My breathing babe! my sobbing babe!
I miss thy plaintive moan,
I cannot hear - thou art not near -
My little one, my own.

Thy father sleeps. He mourns thy loss,
But little fathers know
The pain that makes a mother toss
Through sleepless nights of woe.
My clinging babe! my nursing babe!
What knows thy father - man -
How my breasts miss thy lips' soft kiss -
None but a mother can.

Worn out, I sleep; I wake - I weep -
I sleep - hush, hush, my dear;
Sweet lamb, fear not - Oh, God! I thought -
I thought my babe was here.

Submitted: Monday, May 19, 2003
Edited: Thursday, December 18, 2014

Topic of this poem: mother


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