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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
America: Vols. XXV–XXIX. 1876–79.

Western States: Prairies, The

Lost on the Prairie

By Rose Terry Cooke (1827–1892)

OH, my baby, my child, my darling!

Lost and gone in the prairie wild;

Mad gray wolves from the forest snarling,

Snarling for thee, my little child!

Lost, lost! gone forever!

Gay snakes rattled and charmed and sung;

On thy head the sun’s fierce fever,

Dews of death on thy white lip hung!

Dead and pale in the moonlight’s glory,

Cold and dead by the black oak-tree;

Only a small shoe, stained and gory,

Blood-red, tattered,—comes home to me.

Over the grass that rolls, like ocean,

On and on to the blue, bent sky,

Something comes with a hurried motion,

Something calls with a choking cry,—

“Here, here! not dead, but living!”

God! Thy goodness—what can I pray?

Blessed more in this second giving,

Laid in happier arms to-day.

Oh, my baby, my child, my darling!

Wolf and snake and the lonely tree

Still are rustling, hissing, snarling;

Here ’s my baby come back to me!