The Garden of Years and Other Poems/A Fragment

For works with similar titles, see A Fragment.

When she is forward, querulous, or wild,
        Thou knowest, Abba, how in each offence
I stint not patience lest I wrong the child,
        Mistaking for revolt defect of sense—
For wilfulness mere sprightliness of mind;
Thou knowest how often, seeing, I am blind.

        •        •        •        •        •        •        •        •

And how, when twice, for something grievous done,
        I could but smite, and though I lightly smote,
        I felt my heart rise strangling in my throat;
        And when she wept I kissed the poor red hands.
        All these things, Father, a father understands;
And am I not Thy son?

        •        •        •        •        •        •        •        •

Thou’st seen how closely, Abba, when at rest
My child’s head nestles to my breast;
        And how my arm her little form enfolds,
Lest in the darkness she should feel alone;
        And how she holds
My hands, my hands, my two hands in her own!

        •        •        •        •        •        •        •        •

                        A little easeful sighing
                                And restful turning round,
                        And I, too, on Thy love relying,
                                Shall slumber sound.

New York, 1893.

This work was published before January 1, 1925, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.