Verse > Anthologies > Harriet Monroe, ed. > Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, 1912–22
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Harriet Monroe, ed. (1860–1936).  Poetry: A Magazine of Verse.  1912–22.
 
Children
By F. S. Flint
 
THESE are my children, one boy, one girl.
They have the beauty all children have;
They have entered the trap all children enter—
The trap that was set by God knows who.
 
These are the flowers of love and spring—        5
The apple-blossom and daffodils,
Tulip and bluebell, lilac and hawthorn,
And the young green leaves on the trees.
But earth, the giver, is anhungered too.
 
They do not know, children and flowers,        10
That the ground beneath them is what it is.
The sun and the rain, their laughter and tears,
Are all that they know.
 
I watch them at play, and I know the part
I have played myself in bringing them here.        15
I too was once in the outer forest;
And, decoyed like them, have decoyed them in,
To be decoys in their turn, perhaps,
To my grandchildren (will they be mine?):
And so it goes on, father and son, daughter and mother.        20
 
But they look at me with their trustful eyes,
And they laugh at me in their games and graces.
They come and caress me, they love me so—
The thoughtless-treacherous, eagerly lecherous
Knave and husband whom they call father,        25
The man who betrayed them to certain death.
 
And I am their wistful comrade and watchdog.
I go with them sometimes into the streets,
Among the crowds, and I share their wonder,
A child with my children; and my man’s form        30
And my man’s strength is their contrite shield,
And my heart is a pool of tenderness for them.
For they do not know what the earth is yet,
Nor what the clay can be to the body.
When they know, they will no longer be children;        35
They will make their link in the chain of treason.
And so it goes on, father and son, daughter and mother.
 
 
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