To Cara, After An Interval Of Absence
by Thomas Moore
Conceal'd within the shady wood
A mother left her sleeping child
And flew to cull her rustic food,
The fruitage of the forest wild.
But storms upon her pathway rise,
The mother roams astray and weeping,
Far from the weak appealing cries
Of him she left so sweetly sleeping.
She hopes, she fears -- a light is seen,
And gentler blows the night-wind's breath;
Yet no -- 'tis gone -- the storms are keen,
The baby may be chill'd to death;
Perhaps his little eyes are shaded
Dim by Death's eternal chill --
And yet, perhaps, they are not faded;
Life and love may light them still.
Thus, when my soul with parting sigh,
Hung on thy hand's bewildering touch,
And, timid, ask'd that speaking eye,
If parting pain'd thee half so much --
I thought, and, oh! forgive the thought,
For who, by eyes like thine inspir'd,
Could ere resist the flattering fault
Of fancying what his soul desir'd?
Yes -- I did think, in Cara's mind,
Though yet to Cara's mind unknown,
I left one infant wish behind,
One feeling, which I call'd my own!
Oh, blest! though but in fancy blest,
How did I ask of pity's care,
To shield and strengthen in thy breast,
The nursling I had cradled there.
And, many an hour beguil'd by pleasure,
And many an hour of sorrow numbering,
I ne'er forget the new-born treasure,
I left within thy bosom slumbering.
Perhaps, indifference has not chilled it,
Haply, it yet a throb may give --
Yet, no -- perhaps, a doubt has killed it!
Oh Cara, -- does the infant live?
Source:The Poetical Works of Thomas Moore.
Philadelphia: J. Crissy, No. 4, Minor Street, and Desilver, Thomas, And Co., No. 247, Market Street