Robert William Service

(16 January 1874 - 11 September 1958 / Preston)

Young Mother


Her baby was so full of glee,
And through the day
It laughed and babbled on her knee
In happy play.
It pulled her hair all out of curl
With noisy joy;
So peppy she was glad her girl
Was not a boy.

Then as she longed for it to sleep,
To her surprise
It just relaxed within her keep
With closing eyes.
And as it lay upon her breast
So still its breath,
So exquisite its utter rest
It looked like death.

It seemed like it had slipped away
To shadow land;
With tiny face like tinted clay
And waxen hand.
No ghost of sigh, no living look . . .
Then with an ache
Of panic fear and love she shook
Her babe awake.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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