THE OLD CRIB
"Sell that crib? Indeed! indeed I cannot, for I see in it the faces of my children. I will starve before I sell that crib."
Confederate Lady, 1864.
I KNOW thou art a senseless thing,
Still recollections round thee cling
Of joys long past;
And I would fain retain thee now,
Yet want's stern hand and lowering brow
Has o'er me cast
His misery with weight untold,
And, much prized crib, thou must be sold!
Ah! well do I remember yet,
Remember? can I well forget
That happy day,
29When a swift tide my spirit moved,
And with a mother's soul, I loved
The child that lay
Within thy lap--my precious boy!
How throbbed my heart with untold joy.
How swiftly, then, the years sweep on,
With love, joy, wealth, they come, are gone,
And very soon
A little dark-eyed, bonny girl,
Pressed on thy pillow many a curl.
Most precious boon
That ever was to mortal given--
A cherub, from the gates of heaven.
And yet again, some powerful spell,
Called to this earth, sweet baby Bell,
My sunbeam child,
With hair of gold, and eyes of blue,
And cheeks that vie the rosebud's hue--
30About my heart she seems to twine,
As round the oak, the clinging vine.
Take back thy gold! It shall not go!
'Twas mine in weal, and now in woe:
It comforts me.
It takes me back, in fitful gleams,
To the sweet, fairy land of dreams,
And then I see
Those little heads, with glossy curls,
My manly boy, my little girls!