The First Born


By Ann E. Porter.

Like the sweet snowdrop 'mid its sheltering leaves,
So lay my babe within its cradle bed;
Its little hands were folded on its breast,
And calm as angels' brow its quiet sleep;
One tiny foot from 'neath the mantle's fold
Had strayed, all stainless from the dust of earth.
I hushed the song that hung upon my lips,
For voice like mine wrought not such blest repose
But music, such as cherubs chant in Heaven,
Had lulled the slumberer in the arms of peace.
I bent me o'er the couch of this sweet babe,
And all the gushing tenderness of love
Came welling up from my fond, happy heart;
A mother's pangs were all forgotten then,
All lost in the o'erwhelming tide of love.
Just then the babe awoke, and turned its soft
Blue eyes up to my own, and smiled. It was
His first bright smile, and to my spirit seemed
Like Heaven's blessing on the holy bond.
Oh! there are moments in this fleeting life
When every pulse beats love, and the soft air
Is full of fragrance from a purer clime.
And then how sweet it is to pray -- far better
Than to praise -- that is the voice of gladness;
But deepest joy doth vent itself in prayer --
And thus my o'erfraught heart found sweet relief.
O God! I thank thee for this precious gift;
Oh! make me pure, my spirit fresh baptize,
That I may guard my precious treasure well,
Nor dim its brightness by a breath of sin;
But, with a sleepless vigil in a world
Of guilt, be faithful to the holy trust,
And bear it back to thee when thou shalt call
A polished jewel for my Maker's crown.

Godey's Lady's Book
March, 1852.