Still-Born by Mabel Forrest

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There only blow the gentle winds, and pale and tender suns  
Stream down the trees with temperate heat, and there the river runs  
With never brawling on a stone, or sullen, reckless flood,          
And every star-enraptured night is steeped in moonlight mood.  
It is half-way to Heaven's wails, and half-way to the earth,        
The land of babes whom Death has found against the gates of Birth!

They swing in cities made of reeds, or grasses woven green,  
The twilit spaces of the grove, or sunny walks between; 
Their coverlids are budding flowers where musky breezes move,
And all about them wing the thoughts; the unseen Mother love
Of her who waited in the world and stitched the dainty cap,
Who held in dreams the dimpled form close cuddled in her lap,
Who put the little garment by, sweet-sheaved in lavender,
And kissed the tiny broidered frock that was "for him" - or "her"-
This love that never found its goal-yet is a pulsing thing.  
It helps to guard the drowsy babes that in their hammocks swing,      
Too kind for Sorrow is the rhythm, and all too soft for Mirth,  
That rocks the babies Death has claimed beside the gates of Birth!    

The glow-worms in the shining grass have trimmed a thousand lights,
For babies do not love the dusk of Mother-empty nights,
And one white bird sits all day long upon a swaying bough,
And trills the crooning lullabies that living lips lack now,  
For they grow never older here-no blue eyes lose their trust -
No little feet halt in a road begrimed with tears and dust.  
For they are always babies here, and sinless and unstained,
Whose hours to Time immutable for ever-more are chained -  
It lies half-way to Heaven's heights-yet not too far from earth -
The land of babes whom Death has reached from out the gates of Birth!

First published in The Australasian, 17 June 1911

Author reference sites: AustlitAustralian Dictionary of Biography

See also.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on June 17, 2014 7:21 AM.

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