Caroline Bowles Southey



The Mother's Lament

by Caroline Bowles Southey

My child was beautiful and brave --
An opening flower of spring!
He moulders in a distant grave --
A cold, forgotten thing.
Forgotten! Ay, by all but me,
As e'en the best beloved must be
Farewell, farewell, my dearest!

Me thinks 't had been a comfort now
To have caught his parting breath;
Had I been near, from his damp brow
To wipe the dews of death;
With one long, lingering kiss, to close
His eyelids for the last repose.
Farewell, farewell, my dearest!

I little thought such wish to prove,
When, cradled on my breast,
With all a mother's cautious love
His sleeping lids I pressed.
Alas! alas! his dying head
Was pillowed on a colder bed.
Farewell, farewell, my dearest!

They told me victory's laurels wreathed
His youthful temples round;
That victory from his lips was breathed,
The last exulting sound:
Cold comfort to a mother's ear,
That longed his living voice to hear.
Farewell, farewell, my dearest!

E'en so thy gallant father died,
When thou, poor orphan child!
A helpless prattler at my side,
My widowed grief beguiled.
But now, bereaved of all in thee,
What earthy voice shall comfort me?
Farewell, farewell, my dearest!


The Floral Wreath Of Autumn Flowers
Copyright 1850
Detroit: Kerr, Doughty and Lapham