Weighing the Baby

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Weighing The Baby
by Ethel Lynn Beers
published in: The Home Book of Verse, American and English, 1580-1912 Burton Egbert Stevenson (1912)

"How many pounds does baby weigh -
Baby who came but a month ago?
How many pounds from the crowning curl
To the rosy point of the restless toe?"

Grandfather ties the 'kerchief knot,
Tenderly guides the swinging weight,
And carefully over his glasses peers
To read the record, "only eight."

Softly the echo goes around:
The father laughs at the tiny girl;
The fair young mother sings the words,
While grandmother smooths the golden curl.

And stooping above the precious thing,
Nestles a kiss within a prayer,
Murmuring softly "Little one,
Grandfather did not weigh you fair."

Nobody weighed the baby's smile,
Or the love that came with the helpless one;
Nobody weighed the threads of care,
From which a woman's life is spun.

No index tells the mighty worth
Of a little baby's quiet breath -
A soft, unceasing metronome,
Patient and faithful until death.

Nobody weighed the baby's soul,
For here on earth no weights there be
That could avail; God only knows
Its value in eternity.

Only eight pounds to hold a soul
That seeks no angel's silver wing,
But shrines it in this human guise,
Within so frail and small a thing!

Oh, mother! laugh your merry note,
Be gay and glad, but don't forget
From baby's eyes looks out a soul
That claims a home in Eden yet.


This work was published before January 1, 1923, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.