Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
962. My Father’s Child
By Gertrude Bloede (“Stuart Sterne”)
ABOUT her head or floating feet
  No halo’s starry gleam,
Still dark and swift uprising, like
  A bubble in a stream,—
A soul, from whose rejoicing heart        5
  The bonds of earth were riven,
Sped upward through the silent night
  To the closed Gates of Heaven.
And waiting heard a voice,—“Who comes
  To claim Eternity?        10
Hero or saint that bled and died
  Mankind to save and free?”
She bent her head. The voice once more,—
  “Didst thou then toil and live
For home and children—to thy Love        15
  Last breath and heart’s blood give?”
Her head sank lower still, she clasped
  Her hands upon her breast:
“Oh, no!” she whispered, “my dim life
  Has never been so blest!        20
“I trod a lonely, barren path,
  And neither great nor good,
Gained not a hero’s palm, nor won
  The crown of motherhood!
“Oh, I was naught!” Yet suddenly        25
  The white lips faintly smiled—
“Save, oh, methinks I was mayhap
  My Heavenly Father’s Child!”
A flash of light, a cry of joy,
  And with uplifted eyes        30
The soul, through gates rolled open wide,
  Passed into Paradise.


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