Edith Nesbit

The house is haunted; when the little feet
Go pattering about it in their play,
I tremble lest the little one should meet
The ghosts that haunt the happy night and day.

And yet I think they only come to me;
They come through night of ease and pleasant day
To whisper of the torment that must be
If I some day should be, alas! as they.

And when the child is lying warm asleep,
The ghosts draw back the curtain of my bed,
And past them through the dreadful dark I creep,
Clasp close the child, and so am comforted.

Cling close, cling close, my darling, my delight,
Sad voices on the wind come thin and wild,
Ghosts of poor mothers crying in the night,
"Father, have pity, once I had a child!"

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