Child in Cradle


I sadden when thou smilest to my smile,
Child of my love! I tremble to believe
That o’er the mirror of that eye of blue
The shadow of my heart will always pass;—
A heart that, from its struggle with the world,
Comes nightly to thy guarded cradle home,
And, careless of the staining dust it brings,
Asks for its idol! Strange, that flowers of earth
Are visited by every air that stirs,
And drink its sweetness only, while the child
That shuts within its breast a bloom for heaven,
May take a blemish from the breath of love,
And bear the blight forever.
I have wept
With gladness at the gift of this fair child!
My life is bound up in her. But, oh God!
Thou know’st how heavily my heart at times
Bears its sweet burthen; and if Thou hast given
To nurture such as mine this spotless flower,
To bring it unpolluted unto Thee,
Take Thou its love, I pray thee! Give it light—
Though, following the sun, it turn from me!—
But, by the chord thus wrung, and by the light
Shining about her, draw me to my child!
And link us close, oh God, when near to heaven!
N. P. Willis.

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