Verse > Anthologies > Hunt and Lee, eds. > The Book of the Sonnet
Hunt and Lee, comps.  The Book of the Sonnet.  1867.
VIII. News of the Birth of a Child
By Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772–1834)
(Composed on a journey homeward, the author having received intelligence of the birth of a son, September 20, 1796)

OFT o’er my brain does that strange fancy roll
  Which makes the present (while the flash doth last)
  Seem a mere semblance of some unknown past,
  Mixed with such feelings as perplex the soul
Self-questioned in her sleep; and some have said        5
  We lived, ere yet this robe of flesh we wore.
  O my sweet baby! when I reach my door,
  If heavy looks should tell me thou art dead
(As sometimes, through excess of hope, I fear)
  I think that I should struggle to believe        10
  Thou wert a spirit, to this nether sphere
Sentenced for some more venial crime to grieve;
  Didst scream, then spring to meet Heaven’s quick reprieve,
  While we wept idly o’er thy little bier.

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