Verse > Anthologies > Walter Murdoch, comp. > The Oxford Book of Australasian Verse
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Walter Murdoch (1874–1970).  The Oxford Book of Australasian Verse.  1918.
 
180. The Mother
 
By Nettie Palmer
 
 
IN the sorrow and the terror of the nations,
In a world shaken through by lamentations,
  Shall I dare know happiness
  That I stitch a baby’s dress?
 
So: for I shall be a mother with the mothers,        5
I shall know the mother’s anguish like the others,
  Present joy must surely start
  For the life beneath my heart.
 
Gods and men, ye know a woman’s glad unreason,
How she cannot bend and weep but in her season,        10
  Let my hours with rapture glow
  As the seams and stitches grow.
 
And I cannot hear the word of fire and slaughter;
Do men die? Then live, my child, my son, my daughter!
  Into realms of pain I bring        15
  You for joy’s own offering.
 

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