Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. I. Of Home: of Friendship
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Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume I. Of Home: of Friendship.  1904.
 
Poems of Home: I. About Children
Weighing the Baby
Ethelinda Elliott Beers (Ethel Lynn) (1827–1879)
 
“HOW many pounds does the baby weigh—
  Baby who came but a month ago?
How many pounds from the crowning curl
  To the rosy point of the restless toe?”
 
Grandfather ties the ’kerchief knot,        5
  Tenderly guides the swinging weight,
And carefully over his glasses peers
  To read the record, “Only eight.”
 
Softly the echo goes around:
  The father laughs at the tiny girl;        10
The fair young mother sings the words,
  While grandmother smooths the golden curl.
 
And stooping above the precious thing,
  Nestles a kiss within a prayer,
Murmuring softly “Little one,        15
  Grandfather did not weigh you fair.”
 
Nobody weighed the baby’s smile,
  Or the love that came with the helpless one;
Nobody weighed the threads of care,
  From which a woman’s life is spun.        20
 
No index tells the mighty worth
  Of a little baby’s quiet breath—
A soft, unceasing metronome,
  Patient and faithful until death.
 
Nobody weighed the baby’s soul,        25
  For here on earth no weights there be
That could avail; God only knows
  Its value in eternity.
 
Only eight pounds to hold a soul
  That seeks no angel’s silver wing,        30
But shrines it in this human guise,
  Within so frail and small a thing!
 
Oh, mother! laugh your merry note,
  Be gay and glad, but don’t forget
From baby’s eyes looks out a soul        35
  That claims a home in Eden yet.
 
 
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