A Baby’s Dress
It’s made of finest linen –
Sheer as wasp wings;
It is made with a flowing panel
Down the front,
All overrun with fagot-stitched bow-knots
Holding hours and hours
Of fairy-white forget-me-nots.
And it is finished.
To-night, crisp with new pressing,
It lies stiffly in its pasteboard box,
Smothered in folds of tissue paper
Which envelope it like a shroud –
In its coffin-shaped pasteboard box.
To-morrow a baby will wear it at a christening;
To-morrow the dead-white of its linen
Will glow with the tint of baby skin;
And out of its filmy mystery
There will reach
Baby hands . . .
But to-night the lamplight plays over it and finds it cold.
Like the flower-husk of a little soul,
Which, new-lived, has fluttered to its destiny,
It lies in its coffin-shaped pasteboard box.
To-morrow will make it what hands cannot:
Limp and warm with babyness,
A hallowed thing,
A baby’s dress.