Ina Coolbrith

The Mother’s Grief

So fair the sun rose yester-morn,
The mountain cliffs adorning!
The golden tassels of the corn
Danced in the breath of morning;
The cool, clear stream that runs before,
Such happy words was saying,
And in the open cottage door
My pretty babe was playing.
Aslant the sill a sunbeam lay:
I laughed, in careless pleasure,
To see his little hand essay
To grasp the shinning treasure.

To-day no shafts of golden flame
Across the sill are lying;
To-day I call my baby’s name,
And hear no lisped replying:
To-day-ah, baby mine, to-day-
God holds thee in his keeping!
And yet I weep, as one pale ray
Breaks in upon thy sleeping—
I weep to see its shining bands
Reach, with a fond endeavor,
To where the little restless hands
Are crossed in rest forever!