Down, down, Ellen, my little one—
Climbing so tenderly up to my knee;
Why should you add to the thoughts that are taunting me,
Dreams of your mother’s arms clinging to me?
Cease, cease, Ellen, my little one—
Warbling so fairily close to my ear;
Why should you choose, of all songs that are haunting me,
This, that I made for your mother to hear?
Hush, hush, Ellen, my little one—
Wailing so wearily under the stars;
Why should I think of her tears, that make light to me
Love that had made life, and sorrow that mars?
Sleep, sleep, Ellen, my little one—
Is she not like her, whenever she stirs?
Has she not eyes that will soon be as bright to me,
Lips that will some day be honey’d, like hers?
Yes, yes, Ellen, my little one—
Though her white bosom is still’d in the grave,
Something more white than her bosom is spared to me,
Something to cling to, and something to crave:
Love, love, Ellen, my little one!
Love indestructible, love undefiled
Love through all deeps of her spirit, lies bared to me,
Oft as I look on the face of her child.
Arthur J. Munby.