If I could clasp my little babe,
   Upon my breast to-night,
I would not mind the blowing wind,
   That shrieketh in affright.
O! my lost babe, my little babe,
   My babe with dreamful eyes,
Thy bed is cold, and night winds bold
   Shriek frightful lullabies.

My breast is softer than the sod.
   This room, with lighter hearth,
Is better place for thy sweet face,
   Than frozen, Mother Earth.
O, my babe! O, my lost babe!
   O babe with waxen hands,
I want thee so, I miss thee so--
   Come from thy silent lands.

No love, but mother-love, that fills
   Each corner of the heart;
No loss, but mother-loss, that chills
   And tears the soul apart.
O, babe! my babe! my helpless babe!
   I miss thy little form,
Would I might creep where thou dost sleep,
   And clasp thee through the storm.

I hold thy pillow to my breast,
   To bring a vague relief.
I sing the songs that soothed thy rest,
   Ah, me! no cheating grief.
My breathing babe, my sighing babe,
   I miss thy plaintive moan.
I cannot hear--thou art not near,
   My little one, my own.

Thy father sleeps; he mourns thy loss,
   But little fathers know
The pain that makes a mother toss
   Through sleepless hours of woe.
My clinging babe! my nursing babe!
   What knows thy father, man,
How my breasts miss thy lips' soft kiss?
   None but a mother can.

Worn out, I sleep! I wake, I weep,
   I sleep--hush, hush, my dear.
Sweet lamb, fear not--O, God! I thought,
   I thought my babe was here.

Maurineby Ella Wheeler
Milwaukee: Cramer, Aikens & Cramer, 1876.

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