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THE HERITAGE

He on his man-child laid a soothing hand.
And hushed him into slumber, singing, “Sleep!
For thee the world was made and for thee planned.
With this thy heritage, why dost thou weep?

“For thee the mother bird on her soft nest
Doth turn her speckled eggs with patient care.
And lists until they move beneath her breast,
To break to music in the summer air.

“For thee the flower in the still night lifts up
Her tender buds the drooping dew to stay,
So that each mom she hath a brimming cup
Of perfumed wine to pledge the coming day.

“For thee the beast at thy young feet lets fall
His crimson life, that thou mayst live and grow;
To hold the earth and all things great and small—
For thee were made the tides to ebb and flow.

“For thee the wondrous earth, so hush thy cries”—
He laid his hand upon the tumbled curls—
“And God's high paradise”; he sought the skies.
And there despairing saw—unnumbered worlds.