Helen Hoyt

(1887-1972 / United States)

The New-Born


I have heard them in the night—
The cry of their fear,
Because there is no light,
Because they do not hear
Familiar sounds and feel the familiar arm?
And they awake alone.
Yet they have never known
Danger or harm.
What is their dread?—
This dark about their bed?
But they are so lately come
Out of the dark womb
Where they were safely kept.
That blackness was good;
And the silence of that solitude
Wherein they slept
Was kind.
Where did they find
Knowledge of death?
Caution of darkness and cold?
These—of the little, new breath—
Have they a prudence so old?

Submitted: Thursday, April 22, 2010
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