Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. I. Of Home: of Friendship
Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume I. Of Home: of Friendship.  1904.
Poems of Home: V. The Home
Seven Times Six
Jean Ingelow (1820–1897)
Giving in Marriage

TO bear, to nurse, to rear,
  To watch, and then to lose:
To see my bright ones disappear,
  Drawn up like morning dews;—
To bear, to nurse, to rear,        5
  To watch, and then to lose:
This have I done when God drew near
  Among his own to choose.
To hear, to heed, to wed,
  And with thy lord depart        10
In tears that he, as soon as shed,
  Will let no longer smart.—
To hear, to heed, to wed,
  This while thou didst I smiled,
For now it was not God who said,        15
  “Mother, give ME thy child.”
O fond, O fool, and blind,
  To God I gave with tears;
But, when a man like grace would find,
  My soul put by her fears.        20
O fond, O fool, and blind,
  God guards in happier spheres;
That man will guard where he did bind
  Is hope for unknown years.
To hear, to heed, to wed,        25
  Fair lot that maidens choose,
Thy mother’s tenderest words are said,
  Thy face no more she views;
Thy mother’s lot, my dear,
  She doth in naught accuse;        30
Her lot to bear, to nurse, to rear,
  To love—and then to lose.
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