Isabel Ecclestone Mackay

(25 November 1875 – 15 August 1928 / Canada)

The Child - Poem by Isabel Ecclestone Mackay

I MAY not lift him in my arms. His face I may not see--
Are angel hands more tender than a mother's hands may be?
And does he smile to hear the song an angel stole from me?

The wise King said, 'He cannot come but I will go to him!'
O David! did you seek with words to make the grave less grim?
And did you think to cheat, with words, the jealous seraphim?

So! he will learn of heaven--he, who scarcely knew the earth.
All fullness waits the baby eyes that never looked on dearth--
The mystery of death usurps the mystery of birth!

What light has earth to give me for the light that heaven beguiled?
What is the calm of heaven to him who has not known the wild?--
O, we are both bereft, bereft--the mother and the child!

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Poem Submitted: Monday, September 6, 2010

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