I wonder what it is that babies dream
When cradled fast within their mother's arms
All innocence, safe from the sun's harsh beam
Unknowing of Life's cares, its griefs, its charms
Its joys, its sorrows, loves, hates, curses, deaths
As well as all the patchwork beings and forms
Which paint our haunted landscape. Time enwreaths
Its poisons 'round each heartbeat, and the worms
Await our morbid flesh with iron jaws --
Yet, little one, what cans't thou know of this
When thy small world scarce reaches past these walls
And all thy life rests in thy mother's kiss?
When thou hast yet to hear the skylark sing
Or clasp a pebble, touch a leaf, or run
Barefoot along the ocean's sandy shore;
Hast never felt a kitten purr, nor held
A butterfly whose trembling, goss'mer wing
Unfurled in resurrection with Spring's sun?
A hundred-thousand wondrous sights and more
Thou hast no inkling of -- for unbeheld
By thee, it were as tho they had no being --
As, unbeknownst to thee, death hath no sting.
Then, Blesséd child, thou cans't but dream of love
For love alone is all thee've yet to know
And my one wish is that thy sweet dreams prove
To ever be of those who love you so.