Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, TO AN UNBORN INFANT, by ISABELLA (FORDYCE) KELLY



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TO AN UNBORN INFANT, by            
First Line: Be still, sweet babe, no harm shall reach thee
Last Line: And retired to endless rest.
Alternate Author Name(s): Hedgeland, Mrs.
Subject(s): Pregnancy


BE still, sweet babe, no harm shall reach thee,
Nor hurt thy yet unfinished form;
Thy mother's frame shall safely guard thee
From this bleak, this beating storm.

Promised hope! expected treasure!
Oh, how welcome to these arms!
Feeble, yet they'll fondly clasp thee,
Shield thee from the least alarms.

Loved already, little blessing,
Kindly cherished, though unknown,
Fancy forms thee sweet and lovely,
Emblem of the rose unblown.

Though thy father is imprisoned,
Wronged, forgotten, robbed of right,
I'll repress the rising anguish,
Till thine eyes behold the light.

Start not, babe! the hour approaches
That presents the gift of life;
Soon, too soon thou'lt taste of sorrow
In these realms of care and strife.

Share not thou a mother's feelings,
Hope vouchsafes a pitying ray;
Though a gloom obscures the morning,
Bright may shine the rising day.

Live, sweet babe, to bless thy father,
When thy mother slumbers low;
Slowly lisp her name that loved him,
Through a world of varied woe.

Learn, my child, the mournful story
Of thy suffering mother's life;
Let thy father not forget her
In a future, happier wife.

Babe of fondest expectation,
Watch his wishes in his face;
What pleased in me mayst thou inherit,
And supply my vacant place.

Whisper all the anguished moments
That have wrung this anxious breast:
Say, I lived to give thee being,
And retired to endless rest.






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