All Quiet along the Potomac and other poems/No Name


WHAT shall we call our baby, wife?
The queer, wee mortal thing,
With battling hand and restless foot,
And ear like midge's wing.

We'll give her chrism sweet and small,
A word that's soft and low,
A sound to hear from lips of love
As days of earth-life go.

Pansy, or Rose, or Daisy, dear?
Helen, or Grace, or Fay?
We've called her "Baby" long enough;
'Tis near her christ'ning-day.

You don't care, do you, Baby dear?
You'll gabble, cry, and crow
If we should call you Polly Ann,
If we but speak it low.

But by and by, my woman-child,
For tones you love to hear
Your name shall be a fairy boat
To bear sweet loves-notes near.

And so it shall be soft and sweet,
As wood-bird's matin shy;
So, sweet, I can't decide to-day—
I'll find one by and by.


Ice-cold, and like a waxen thing,
The quiet sleeper lies,
With hands upfolded on its breast,
And soul gone home to Paradise.

Its small life lived, its sheaf of tears
Bound in a bundle small,
It folded thus its waxen hands
At some Almighty call.

Our list'ning ear no accents caught
No name like earth-born word
But still methinks an angel called
"Baby!" and Baby heard.