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Henry Kirke White (Генри Керк Уайт)


The Lullaby of a Female Convict to Her Child the Night Previous to Her Execution


Sleep, baby mine, enkerchieft on my bosom,
Thy cries they pierce again my bleeding breast;
Sleep, baby mine, not long thou'lt have a mother
To lull thee fondly in her arms to rest.

Baby, why dost thou keep this sad complaining?
Long from mine eyes have kindly slumbers fled;
Hush, hush, my babe, the night is quickly waning,
And I would fain compose my aching head.

Poor wayward wretch! and who will heed thy weeping,
When soon an outcast on the world thou'lt be?
Who then will soothe thee, when thy mother's sleeping
In her low grave of shame and infamy?

Sleep, baby mine—Tomorrow I must leave thee,
And I would snatch an interval of rest:
Sleep these last moments ere the laws bereave thee,
For never more thou'lt press a mother's breast.



Henry Kirke White's other poems:
  1. My Own Character
  2. The Prostitute
  3. Clifton Grove
  4. Lines Supposed to Be Spoken by a Lover at the Grave of His Mistress
  5. On Being Confined to School One Pleasant Morning in Spring


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