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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

His Mother’s Joy

By John White Chadwick (1840–1904)

[From A Book of Poems. 1876.]

LITTLE, I ween, did Mary guess,

As on her arm her baby lay,

What tides of joy would swell and beat,

Through ages long, on Christmas day.

And what if she had known it all,—

The awful splendor of his fame?

The inmost heart of all her joy

Would still, methinks, have been the same:

The joy that every mother knows

Who feels her babe against her breast:

The voyage long is overpast,

And now is calm and peace and rest.

“Art thou the Christ?” The wonder came

As easy as her infant’s breath:

But answer none. Enough for her,

That love had triumphed over death.

December 25, 1877.