Mother and Child


By William Gilmore Simms


The wind blew wide the casement, and within–

It was the loveliest picture!–a sweet child

Lay in its mother’s arms, and drew its life,

In pauses, from the fountain,–the white round

Part shaded by loose tresses, soft and dark,

Concealing, but still showing, the fair realm

Of so much rapture, as green shadowing trees

With beauty shroud the brooklet.  The red lips

Were parted, and the cheek upon the breast

Lay close, and, like the young leaf of the flower,

Wore the same color, rich and warm and fresh:–

And such alone are beautiful.  Its eye,

A full blue gem, most exquisitely set,

Looked archly on its world,–the little imp,

As if it knew even then that such a wreath

Were not for all; and with its playful hands

It drew aside the robe that hid its realm,

And peeped and laughed aloud, and so it laid

Its head upon the shrine of such pure joys,

And, laughing, slept.  And while it slept, the tears

Of the sweet mother fell upon its cheek,–

Tears such as fall from April skies, and bring

The sunlight after.  They were tears of joy;

And the true heart of that young mother then

Grew lighter, and she sang unconsciously

The silliest ballad-song that ever yet

Subdued the nursery’s voices, and brought sleep

To fold her sabbath wings above its couch.

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