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Alice Meynell (Элис Мейнелл)

Intimations of Mortality


A simple child ...
    That lightly draws its breath
And feels its life in every limb,
    What should it know of death?

It knows but will not tell.
    Awake, alone, it counts its father's years—
How few are left—its mother's. Ah, how well
    It knows of death, in tears.

If any of the three—
    Parents and child—believe they have prevailed
To keep the secret of mortality,
    I know that two have failed.

The third, the lonely, keeps
    One secret—a child's knowledge. When they come
At night to ask wherefore the sweet one weeps,
    Those hidden lips are dumb.

Alice Meynell's other poems:
  1. To O——, of Her Dark Eyes
  2. Time's Reversals
  3. A Dead Harvest
  4. “I Am the Way”
  5. Parentage

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