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  ― 81 ―

Watching

I PRAYED for the wind of the South,
As I swung his cradle slow,
And my heart was aye in my mouth,
Lest the life of my babe should go
On the feverish panting breath
Of the sullen November noon,
Out where the ships of Death
Sail 'neath a wan white moon.

A bittern boomed in the dusk,
And the winds of the night were wild;
And, pent in its earthly husk,
The soul of my restless child
Beat 'gainst the bonds of breath;
O God! must it journey soon
With the crews of the ships of Death,
That steer by a wan white moon?

Night paled to the dawn's eclipse,
And the moon hung low in the sky;
Still I watched with my heart on my lips
Lest the child that I loved should die,
Should pass with the dawn's first breath
O'er the bar where the ebb-tides croon,
And the lights of the ships of Death
Wane dim 'neath a wan white moon.

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