Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895
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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895.  1895.
 
Two Sons
 
Cosmo Monkhouse (b. 1840)
 
 
      I HAVE two sons, wife—
        Two, and yet the same;
      One his wild way runs, wife,
        Bringing us to shame.
The one is bearded, sunburnt, grim, and fights across the sea,        5
The other is a little child who sits upon your knee.
 
      One is fierce and cold, wife,
        As the wayward deep;
      Him no arms could hold, wife,
        Him no breast could keep.        10
He has tried our hearts for many a year, not broken them; for he
Is still the sinless little one that sits upon your knee.
 
      One may fall in fight, wife—
        Is he not our son?
      Pray with all your might, wife,        15
        For the wayward one;
Pray for the dark, rough soldier, who fights across the sea,
Because you love the little shade who smiles upon your knee.
 
      One across the foam, wife,
        As I speak may fall;        20
      But this one at home, wife,
        Cannot die at all.
They both are only one; and how thankful should we be,
We cannot lose the darling son who sits upon your knee!
 

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