The Dead Child

Sleep on, dear, now
The last sleep and the best,
And on thy brow,
And on thy quiet breast
Violets I throw.

Thy scanty years
Were mine a little while;
Life had no fears
To trouble thy brief smile
With toil or tears.

Lie still, and be
For evermore a child!
Not grudgingly,
Whom life has not defiled,
I render thee.

Slumber so deep,
No man would rashly wake;
I hardly weep,
Fain only, for thy sake.
To share thy sleep.

Yes, to be dead,
Dead, here with thee to-day,--
When all is said
'Twere good by thee to lay
My weary head.

The very best!
Ah, child so tired of play,
I stand confessed:
I want to come thy way,
And share thy rest.

by Ernest Christopher Dowson

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