The Inquisition

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The Inquisition  (1896) 
by William Canton
From McClure's Magazine/Volume 8, December 1896, p. 181; in turn taken from "W. V. Her Book," by William Canton; Stone & Kimball, publishers, New York

I Woke at dead of night;
  The room was still as death;
All in the dark I saw a sight
  Which made me catch my breath.

Although she slumbered near,
  The silence hung so deep
I leaned above her crib to hear
  If it were death or sleep.

As low—all quick—I leant,
  Two large eyes thrust me back;
Dark eyes—too wise—which gazed intent;
  Blue eyes transformed to black.

Heavens! how those steadfast eyes
  Their eerie vigil kept!
Was this some angel in disguise
  Who searched us while we slept;

Who winnow'd every sin,
  Who tracked each slip and fall,
One of God's spies—not Babykin,
  Not Babykin at all?

Day came with golden air;
  She caught the beams and smiled;
No masked inquisitor was there,
  Only a babbling child!


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1923.

The author died in 1926, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 80 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.