Young Mother

by Robert W. Service

Her baby was so full of glee, And through the day It laughed and babbled on her knee In happy play. It pulled her hair all out of curl With noisy joy; So peppy she was glad her girl Was not a boy. Then as she longed for it to sleep, To her surprise It just relaxed within her keep With closing eyes. And as it lay upon her breast So still its breath, So exquisite its utter rest It looked like death. It seemed like it had slipped away To shadow land; With tiny face like tinted clay And waxen hand. No ghost of sigh, no living look . . . Then with an ache Of panic fear and love she shook Her babe awake.