Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE SPECIAL DARLING, by ALICE CARY

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THE SPECIAL DARLING, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Along the grassy lane one day
Last Line: Such is my hope and prayer.
Subject(s): Handicapped; Children; God

ALONG the grassy lane one day,
Outside the dull old-fashioned town,
A dozen children were at play;
From noontide till the even-fall,
Curly-heads flaxen and curly-heads brown
Were busily bobbing up and down
Behind the blackberry wall.

And near these merry-makers wild
A piteous little creature was,
With face unlike the face of a child, --
Eyes fixed, and seeming frozen still,
And legs all doubled up in th' grass,
Disjointed from his will.

No dream deceived his dreary hours,
Nor made him merry nor made him grave;
He did not hear the children call,
Tumbling under the blackberry-wall,
With shoulders white with flowers;
But sat with great wide eyes one way,
And body limberly a-sway,
Like a water-plant in a wave.

He did not hear the little stir
The ants made, working in their hills,
Nor see the pale, gray daffodils
Lifting about him their dull points,
Nor yet the curious grasshopper
Transport his green and angular joints
From bush to bush. Poor simple boy, --
His senses cheated of their birth,
He might as well have grown in th' earth,
For all he knew of joy.

Near where the children took their fill
Of play, outside the dull old town,
And neighbored by a wide-flanked hill,
Where mists like phantoms up and down
Moved all the time, a homestead was,
With window toward the plot of grass
Where sat this child, and oft and again
Tender eyes peered through the pane,
Whose glances still were dim,
Till leaping under the blackberry-wall,
Curly-heads flaxen, brown and all,
They rested at last on him.

Ah, who shall say but that such love
Is the type of His who made us all,
And that from the Kingdom up above
The eyes that note the sparrow's fall,
O'er the incapable, weak and small,
Watch with tenderest care:
Such is my hope and prayer.

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