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Ballads and Lyrics of Socialism 1883-1908 . Nesbit, E. (Edith), 1858–1924.
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page: 32

Two Lullabies

I

  • SLEEP, sleep, my little baby dear,
  • Thee shall no want or pain come near;
  • Sleep softly on thy downy nest,
  • Or on this lace veiled mother‐breast.
  • Thy cradle is all silken lined,
  • Wrought roses on thy curtains twined,
  • Warm woolly blankets o’er thee spread,
  • And soft white pillows for thy head.
  • Much gold those little hands shall hold,
  • And wealth about thy life shall fold,
  • And thou shalt see nor pain nor strife,
  • Nor the low ills of common life.
  • These little feet shall never tread
  • Except on paths soft‐carpeted,
  • And all life’s flowers in wreaths shall twine
  • To deck that darling head of thine.
  • Thou shalt have overflowing measure
  • Of wealth and joy and peace and pleasure,
  • And thou shalt be right charitable
  • With all the crumbs that leave thy table.
  • And thou shalt praise God every day
  • For His good gifts that come thy way,
  • And again thank Him, and again,
  • That thou art not as other men.
  • For ’midst thy wealth thou wilt recall—
  • ’Tis to God’s grace thou owest it all;
  • And when all’s spent that life has given,
  • Thou’lt have a golden home in heaven.
page: 33

II

  • Sleep, little baby, sleep,
  • Though the wind is cruel and cold,
  • And my shawl that I’ve wrapped thee in
  • Is old and ragged and thin;
  • And my hand is too frozen to hold—
  • Yet my bosom’s still warm—so creep
  • Close to thy mother, and sleep!
  • Sleep, little baby, and rest,
  • Though we wander alone through the night,
  • And there is no food for me,
  • No shelter for me and thee.
  • Through the windows red fires shine bright,
  • And tables show, heaped with the best—
  • But there’s naught for us there—so rest.
  • Sleep, you poor little thing!
  • Just as pretty and dear
  • As any fine lady’s child.
  • Oh, but my heart grows wild!—
  • Is it worth while to stay here?
  • What good thing from life will spring
  • For you—you poor little thing?
  • Sleep, you poor little thing!
  • Mine, my treasure, my own—
  • I clasp you, I hold you close,
  • My darling, my bird, my rose!
  • Rich mothers have hearts like stone,
  • Or else some help they would bring
  • To you— you poor little thing?
  • Sleep, little baby, sleep—
  • If some good, rich mother would take
  • My dear, I would kiss thee, and then
  • Never come near thee again—
  • page: 34
  • Not though my heart should break!
  • I could leave thee, dear, for thy sake—
  • For the river is dark and deep,
  • And gives sleep, little baby, sleep!
1887.
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