Verse > Anthologies > Alfred H. Miles, ed. > Women Poets of the Nineteenth Century
Alfred H. Miles, ed.  Women Poets of the Nineteenth Century.  1907.
Preludes (1875)
I. San Lorenzo Giustiniani’s Mother
By Alice Meynell (1847–1922)
        “And we the shadows of the dream.”

I HAD not seen my son’s dear face
(He chose the cloister by God’s grace)
Since it had come to full flower-time.
I hardly guessed at its perfect prime,
That folded flower of his dear face.        5
Mine eyes were veiled by mists of tears
When on a day in many years
One of his order came. I thrilled
Facing, I thought, that face fulfilled.
I doubted, for my mists of tears.        10
His blessing be with me for ever!
My hope and doubt were hard to sever.
—That altered face, those holy weeds.
I filled his wallet and kissed his beads,
And lost his echoing feet for ever.        15
If to my son my alms were given
I know not, and I wait for Heaven.
He did not plead for child of mine,
But for another Child divine,
And unto Him it was surely given.        20
There is one alone who cannot change;
Dreams are we, shadows, visions strange;
And all I give is given to one.
I might mistake my dearest son,
But never the Son who cannot change.        25

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