Verse > Anthologies > > Arthur Quiller-Couch, ed. > The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse
Arthur Quiller-Couch, comp.  The Oxford Book of Victorian Verse.  1922.
On a Dead Child
By Richard Middleton (1882–1911)
MAN proposes, God in His time disposes,
  And so I wander’d up to where you lay,
A little rose among the little roses,
  And no more dead than they.
It seem’d your childish feet were tired of straying,        5
  You did not greet me from your flower-strewn bed,
Yet still I knew that you were only playing—
  Playing at being dead.
I might have thought that you were really sleeping,
  So quiet lay your eyelids to the sky,        10
So still your hair, but surely you were peeping;
  And so I did not cry.
God knows, and in His proper time disposes,
  And so I smiled and gently called your name,
Added my rose to your sweet heap of roses,        15
  And left you to your game.

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