A Changeling.

A little changeling Spirit1
Crept to my arms one day :2
I had no heart or courage3
To drive the child away.4
So all day long I soothed her5
And hushed her on my breast ;6
And all night long her wailing7
Would never let me rest.8
I dug a grave to hold her,9
A grave both dark and deep :10
I covered her with violets,11
And laid her there to sleep.12
I used to go and watch there,13
Both night and morning too ;14
It was my tears, I fancy,15
That kept the violets blue.16
I took her up : and once more17
I felt the clinging hold,18
And heard the ceaseless wailing19
That wearied me of old.20
I wandered and I wandered21
With my burden on my breast,22
Till I saw a church door open,23
And entered in to rest.24
In the dim, dying daylight,25
Set in a flowery shrine,26
I saw the kings and shepherds27
Adore a Child divine.28
I knelt down there in silence ;29
And on the Altar-stone30
I laid my wailing burden,31
And came away,—alone.32
And now that little Spirit33
That sobbed so all day long,34
Is grown a shining Angel,35
With wings both wide and strong.36
She watches me from heaven,37
With loving, tender care,38
And one day, she has promised39
That I shall find her there.40