The Baby in the Ward

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We were all sore and broken and keen on sleep,Tumours and hearts and dropsies, there we lay,Weary of night and wearier of day,With no more health in us than rotten sheep.Then, tossed to us on some intangible deep,Alicia came, and each man learnt to prayThat Providence would please find out a wayTo still or abate the voice with which she would weep.

God's infinite mercy, how that child did cry,In spite of bottle, bauble, peppermint, nurse!The Tumour said he'd "tell the manager,"The Dropsy mumbled forth his bitterest curse;But still she wailed and wailed. And when we dieWe shall be sainted for forgiving her.

© Crosland Thomas William Hodgson