Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, ON THE DEATH OF AN INFANT OF FIVE DAYS OLD, by ELIZABETH BOYD



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ON THE DEATH OF AN INFANT OF FIVE DAYS OLD, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: How frail is human life! How fleet our breath
Last Line: And the shocked father tear for tear return.
Subject(s): Death - Children; Death - Babies


How frail is human life! How fleet our breath,
Born with the symptoms of approaching death!
What dire convulsions rend a mother's breast,
When by a first-born son's decease distressed.
Although an embryo, an abortive boy,
Thy wond'rous beauties give a wond'rous joy:
Still flattering Hope a flattering idea gives,
And, whilst the birth can breathe, we say it lives.
With what kind warmth the dear-loved babe was pressed:
The darling man was with less love caressed!
How dear, how innocent, the fond embrace!
The father's form all o'er, the father's face,
The sparkling eye, gay with a cherub smile,
Some flying hours the mother-pangs beguile;
The pretty mouth a Cupid's tale expressed,
In amorous murmurs, to the full-swoll'n breast.
If angel infancy can so endear,
Dear angel-infants must command a tear.
Oh! could the stern-souled sex but know the pain,
Or the soft mother's agonies sustain,
With tenderest love the obdurate heart would burn,
And the shocked father tear for tear return.





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