Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE DEAD CHILD, by KATHARINE TYNAN

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THE DEAD CHILD, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: The little son was dead
Last Line: The mother is in heaven.
Alternate Author Name(s): Hinkson, Katharine Tynan
Subject(s): Children; Death; Innocence; Lambs; Mothers; Sons; Childhood; Dead, The

THE little son was dead
Ere he was born, alas!
Never upon his hapless head
The saving water was.

In Crios-na-Lanna drear
They laid the precious clay
That will not rise in any year,
Nor on the Judgment Day.

As she went to and fro,
Her tears fell down like rain
For the small son she might not know,
Whom she had borne in pain.

As she went out about,
Her tears they burned like fire
For the small wandering soul cast out
That was Our Lord's desire.

As she went to the well,
Past Crios-na-Lanna dark,
She heard the sheep and the sheep-bell
And many a happy lark.

O'er churchyard grave and moss
The sheep cropped, well content;
The little grave without a cross
Cried to her as she went.

She never raised her eyes,
But drew the water clear.
Is it a new-born babe that cries,
Or straying lambkin near?

Oh, is it lamb or child
That leaves the churchyard sod?
A little lamb all undefiled
And like the Lamb of God;

That seeks its mother mild
With tender soft alarms;
Oh, is it lamb or is it child
That bleats within her arms?

Oh, is it child or lamb
That pushes at her breast?
A lamb that sought its straying dam
And has come home to rest.

On Crios-na-Lanna's rock
The sheep browse safe from harms:
One little lamb has left the flock
And leaped into her arms.

By Crios-na-Lanna lone
At morning-tide and even,
The hungry heart has found its own,
The mother is in Heaven.

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