Verse > Anthologies > Walter Murdoch, comp. > The Oxford Book of Australasian Verse
Walter Murdoch (1874–1970).  The Oxford Book of Australasian Verse.  1918.
180. The Mother
By Nettie Palmer
IN the sorrow and the terror of the nations,
In a world shaken through by lamentations,
  Shall I dare know happiness
  That I stitch a baby’s dress?
So: for I shall be a mother with the mothers,        5
I shall know the mother’s anguish like the others,
  Present joy must surely start
  For the life beneath my heart.
Gods and men, ye know a woman’s glad unreason,
How she cannot bend and weep but in her season,        10
  Let my hours with rapture glow
  As the seams and stitches grow.
And I cannot hear the word of fire and slaughter;
Do men die? Then live, my child, my son, my daughter!
  Into realms of pain I bring        15
  You for joy’s own offering.


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