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

Alfred Austin 1835–1913

Songs from “Prince Lucifer.” II. Mother-Song


WHITE little hands!

Pink little feet!

Dimpled all over,

Sweet, sweet, sweet!

What dost thou wail for?

The unknown? the unseen?

The ills that are coming,

The joys that have been?

Cling to me closer,

Closer and closer,

Till the pain that is purer

Hath banish’d the grosser.

Drain, drain at the stream, love,

Thy hunger is freeing,

That was born in a dream, love,

Along with thy being!

Little fingers that feel

For their home on my breast,

Little lips that appeal

For their nurture, their rest!

Why, why dost thou weep, dear?

Nay, stifle thy cries,

Till the dew of thy sleep, dear,

Lies soft on thine eyes.