Verse > Anthologies > Samuel Kettell, ed. > Specimens of American Poetry
Samuel Kettell, ed.  Specimens of American Poetry.  1829.
Lines Addressed to a Mother, Who Had Been Absent from Home Several Weeks, on Her Seeing Her Infant Child Asleep
By Theodore Dwight (1764–1846)
  WRAPP’D in innocent repose,
Lost to all its little woes,
See that lovely infant rest,
On the pillow’s downy breast.
Wearied with the toils of day,        5
Little frolics, childish play,
Frequent joy, and frequent grief,
Nature yields a short relief.
Say, my sleeping cherub, say,
Whither doth thy spirit stray?        10
Art thou flown to realms above,
On some angel’s wings of love,
Where, array’d in purest white,
Dwell the sainted sons of light,
Hymning round the eternal throne,        15
Praise to God’s Almighty Son?
Or dost thou now at random roam;
Through creation’s nightly tomb,
Borne by Death’s insidious power,
To his temporary bower?        20
Hush the thought!—I see thee smile!
Dreams thy little heart beguile;
O’er thy sweet, enchanting face,
Steals inimitable grace.
Say, my little cherub, say,        25
Whither doth thy spirit stray?
Hark!—his answering smile replies—
“Far from hence my spirit flies;
Borne on Fancy’s wing, I move
To a mother’s arms of love,        30
And clasp’d in sweet embraces, rest
On her balmy angel-breast.
Here the tides of pleasure roll,
Rapture charms the licensed soul,
Here divinest transports play,        35
Here affection loves to stray,
Here I share the envied kiss,
Sink in pleasure, drown in bliss.
Spotless as the beams of light,
Crowding on the ravish’d sight,        40
Ever new its beauties rise,
Charming unforbidden eyes.
Hark!—My mother’s voice benign,
Speaks in harmony divine”—
Peaceful here, my infant rest,        45
On your raptured parent’s breast.
Here no hand shall enter rude,
No unhallow’d eye intrude;
In this paradise of joy,
Dwells no spirit to destroy;        50
But, on Virtue’s spotless throne,
Thy happy Father reigns alone,
Licensed here alone to move,
Bathing in voluptuous love,
Pleasure here without alloy,        55
Pours an endless stream of joy,
While its blissful currents roll,
Through the mazes of his soul.

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