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

Katharine Tynan Hinkson b. 186–

The Sad Mother

O WHEN the half-light weaves

Wild shadows on the floor,

How ghostly come the withered leaves

Stealing about my door!

I sit and hold my breath,

Lone in the lonely house;

Naught breaks the silence still as death,

Only a creeping mouse.

The patter of leaves, it may be,

But liker patter of feet,

The small feet of my own baby

That never felt the heat.

The small feet of my son,

Cold as the graveyard sod;

My little, dumb, unchristened one

That may not win to God.

“Come in, dear babe,” I cry,

Opening the door so wide.

The leaves go stealing softly by;

How dark it is outside!

And though I kneel and pray

Long on the threshold-stone,

The little feet press on their way,

And I am ever alone.