Verse > Anthologies > Alfred H. Miles, ed. > Women Poets of the Nineteenth Century
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Alfred H. Miles, ed.  Women Poets of the Nineteenth Century.  1907.
 
Innocencies (1905)
I. The Dead Child
By Katharine Tynan Hinkson (1861–1931)
 
THE LITTLE son was dead
  Ere he was born, alas!
Never upon his hapless head
  The saving water was.
 
In Crios-na-Lanna drear        5
  They laid the precious clay
That will not rise in any year
  Nor on the Judgment Day.
 
As she went to and fro,
  Her tears fell down like rain        10
For the small son she might not know,
  Whom she had borne in pain.
 
As she went out about,
  Her tears they burned like fire
For the small wandering soul cast out        15
  That was our Lord’s desire.
 
As she went to the well,
  Past Crios-na-Lanna dark,
She heard the sheep and the sheep-bell
  And many a happy lark.        20
 
O’er churchyard grave and moss
  The sheep cropped, well content;
The little grave without a cross
  Cried to her as she went.
 
She never raised her eyes,        25
  But drew the water clear.
Is that a new-born babe that cries,
  Or straying lambkin near?
 
O is it lamb or child
  That leaves the churchyard sod?        30
A little lamb all undefiled
  And like the Lamb of God;
 
That seeks its mother mild
  With tender soft alarms;
O is it lamb or is it child        35
  That bleats within her arms?
 
O is it child or lamb
  That pushes at her breast?
A lamb that sought its straying dam
  And has come home to rest.        40
 
On Crios-na-Lanna’s rock
  The sheep browse safe from harms:
One little lamb has left the flock
  And leaped into her arms.
 
By Crios-na-Lanna lone        45
  At morning-tide and even,
The hungry heart has found its own,
  The mother is in heaven.
 
 
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