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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.
The Library of the World’s Best Literature. An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

Alice Meynell (1847–1922)

San Lorenzo Giustiniani’s Mother

I HAD not seen my son’s dear face

(He chose the cloister by God’s grace)

Since it had come to full flower-time.

I hardly guessed, at its perfect prime,

That folded flower of his dear face.

Mine eyes were veiled by mists of tears,

When on a day in many years

One of his Order came. I thrilled,

Facing, I thought, that face fulfilled.

I doubted, for my mists of tears.

His blessing be with me forever!

My hope and doubt were hard to sever;—

That altered face, those holy weeds.

I filled his wallet and kissed his beads,

And lost his echoing feet forever.

If to my son my alms were given

I know not, and I wait for Heaven.

He did not plead for child of mine,

But for another Child divine,

And unto Him it was surely given.

There is One alone who cannot change;

Dreams are we, shadows, visions strange:

And all I give is given to One.

I might mistake my dearest son,

But never the Son who cannot change.