Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
670. My Babes in the Wood
By Sarah Morgan Bryan Piatt
I KNOW a story, fairer, dimmer, sadder,
  Than any story painted in your books.
You are so glad? It will not make you gladder;
  Yet listen, with your pretty restless looks.
“Is it a Fairy Story?” Well, half fairy—        5
  At least it dates far back as fairies do,
And seems to me as beautiful and airy;
  Yet half, perhaps the fairy half, is true.
You had a baby sister and a brother,
  (Two very dainty people, rosily white,        10
Each sweeter than all things except the other!)
  Older yet younger—gone from human sight!
And I, who loved them, and shall love them ever,
  And think with yearning tears how each light hand
Crept toward bright bloom or berries—I shall never        15
  Know how I lost them. Do you understand?
Poor slightly golden heads! I think I missed them
  First, in some dreamy, piteous, doubtful way;
But when and where with lingering lips I kissed them,
  My gradual parting, I can never say.        20
Sometimes I fancy that they may have perished
  In shadowy quiet of wet rocks and moss,
Near paths whose very pebbles I have cherished,
  For their small sakes, since my most lovely loss.
I fancy, too, that they were softly covered        25
  By robins, out of apple-flowers they knew,
Whose nursing wings in far home sunshine hovered,
  Before the timid world had dropped the dew.
Their names were—what yours are! At this you wonder.
  Their pictures are—your own, as you have seen;        30
And my bird-buried darlings, hidden under
  Lost leaves—why, it is your dead selves I mean!


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