On Witnessing a Baptism

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On Witnessing a Baptism  (1835) 
by Nathaniel Parker Willis

She stood up in the meekness of a heart
Resting on God, and held her fair young child
Upon her bosom, with its gentle eyes
Folded in sleep, as if its soul had gone
To whisper the baptismal vow in heaven.
The prayer went up devoutly, and the lips
Of the good man glowed fervently with faith
That it would be, even as he had pray'd,
And the sweet child be gaher'd to the fold
Of Jesus. As the holy words went on
Her lips mov'd silently, and tears, fast tears,
Stole from beneath her lashes, and upon
The forehead of the beautiful child lay soft
With the baptismal water. Then I though
That, to the eye of God, that mother's tears
Would be a deeper covenant, which sin
And the temptations of the world, and death,
Would leave unbroken, and that she would know
In the clear light of heaven, how very strong
The prayer which press'd them from her heart had been
In leading its young spirit up to God.