Sonnet Xvii. Composed On A Journey Homeward; The Author Having Received Intelligence Of The Birth Of A Son
Oft o'er my brain does that strange fancy roll
Which makes the present (while the flash dost last)
Seem a mere semblance of some unknown past,
Mixed with such feelings, as perplex the soul
Self-questioned in her sleep: and some have said
We lived ere yet this fleshy robe we wore.
O my sweet Baby! when I reach my door,
If heavy looks should tell me, thou wert dead
(As sometimes, thro' excess of hope, I fear),
I think, that I should struggle to believe
Thou were a Spirit, to this nether sphere
Sentenced for some more venial crime to grieve
Didst scream, then spring to meet Heaven's quick reprieve,
While we wept idly o'er thy little bier.
Sept. 20, 1796.