Poems and Essays

by Joseph Howe




My gentle child—my gentle child,
    I scarcely knew how dear
Thou wert, while in my arms you smiled,
    Or laughed and gambol’d near.

But now, that thou art far away,
    And I am all alone,
I long to join you at your play,
    And catch each tender tone.

To hear you call “Papa!” once more,
    To dance you on my knee,
Or hear your whispered “yes!” breathed o’er,
    The tales I’d tell to thee.

I long around my neck to feel
    Your little hands entwine,
And from your lips sweet kisses steal,
    And pay you back with mine.

But many a vale and mountain wild,
    As here I sadly roam,
Divide me from my gentle child,
    And from my happy home.

A thousand infant forms appear,
    Lit up by laughing eyes,
But still my Ellen is not here,
    And still her father sighs. [Page 113]

I see the happy parent fold
    His darling to his breast;
But when shall I my babe behold,
    My beautiful and blest? [Page 114]