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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908). A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895. 1895.

Charles Tennyson Turner 1808–79

Her First-Born

IT was her first sweet child, her heart’s delight:

And, though we all foresaw his early doom,

We kept the fearful secret out of sight;

We saw the canker, but she kiss’d the bloom.

And yet it might not be: we could not brook

To vex her happy heart with vague alarms,

To blanch with fear her fond intrepid look,

Or send a thrill through those encircling arms.

She smil’d upon him, waking or at rest:

She could not dream her little child would die:

She toss’d him fondly with an upward eye:

She seem’d as buoyant as a summer spray,

That dances with a blossom on its breast,

Nor knows how soon it will be borne away.