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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889

Death of an Infant

By Lydia Huntley Sigourney (1791–1865)

[From Poems. Second Edition. 1836.]

DEATH found strange beauty on that polished brow

And dashed it out. There was a tint of rose

On cheek and lip. He touched the veins with ice,

And the rose faded. Forth from those blue eyes

There spake a wishful tenderness, a doubt

Whether to grieve or sleep, which innocence

Alone may wear. With ruthless haste he bound

The silken fringes of those curtaining lids

Forever. There had been a murmuring sound,

With which the babe would claim its mother’s ear,

Charming her even to tears. The Spoiler set

His seal of silence. But there beamed a smile

So fixed, so holy, from that cherub brow,

Death gazed—and left it there. He dared not steal

The signet-ring of Heaven.