Inevitable

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To-day I was so weary and I lay
   In that delicious state of semi-waking,
When baby, sitting with his nurse at play,
   Cried loud for "mamma," all his toys forsaking.

I was so weary and I needed rest,
   And signed to nurse to bear him from the room.
Then, sudden, rose and caught him to my breast,
   And kissed the grieving mouth and cheeks of bloom.

For swift as lightning came the thought to me,
   With pulsing heart-throes and a mist of tears,
Of days inevitable, that are to be,
   If my fair darling grows to manhood's years;

Days when he will not call for "mamma," when
   The world, with many a pleasure and bright joy,
Shall tempt him forth into the haunts of men
   And I shall lose the first place with my boy;

When other homes and loves shall give delight,
   When younger smiles and voices will seem best.
And so I held him to my heart to-night,
   Forgetting all my need of peace and rest.

by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
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