Home  »  A Library of American Literature  »  My Father’s Child

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

My Father’s Child

By Gertrude Bloede (Stuart Sterne) (1845–1905)

[Born in Dresden, Germany, 1845. Died in Baldwin, L. I., N. Y., 1905. Beyond the Shadow. By Stuart Sterne. 1888.]

ABOUT her head or floating feet

No halo’s starry gleam,

Still dark and swift uprising, like

A bubble in a stream,—

A soul from whose rejoicing heart

The bonds of earth were riven,

Sped upward through the silent night

To the closed gates of heaven.

And waiting heard a voice—“Who comes

To claim Eternity?

Hero or saint that bled and died

Mankind to save and free?”

She bent her head. The voice once more—

“Didst thou then toil and live

For home and children—to thy Love

Last breath and heart’s-blood give?”

Her head sank lower still, she clasped

Her hands upon her breast—

“Oh, no!” she whispered, “my dim life

Has never been so blest!

“I trod a lonely, barren path,

And neither great nor good,

Gained not a hero’s palm, nor won

The crown of motherhood!

“Oh, I was naught!” Yet suddenly

The white lips faintly smiled—

“Save, oh, methinks I was mayhap

My Heavenly Father’s Child!”

A flash of light, a cry of joy,

And with uplifted eyes

The soul, through gates rolled open wide,

Passed into Paradise.