Yeats 27

 

‘Once more the storm is howling, and half hid

Under this cradle-hood and coverlid

My child sleeps on.’ —W.B. Yeats

Hush, little baby, be quiet as a mouse,
The wind is howling round this little house,
But here inside we are cosy and warm,
And I will keep you from every harm.

Though there will be harm, and I will not
be able to keep you safe always.
There will be fears I cannot shake out,
Like crumbs from a table cloth. Never mind
I will hold your hand when you are afraid.

I made a blanket from starlight and mist
For you to hold tight in your little plump fist,
A sea of dreams is a soft place to float,
So I set you to sail in a moonbeam boat.

The time will come when I wave goodbye,
and you set sail in the boat you have made,
far away, seeking your own adventure. Keep
a space for me in whatever land you find,
Remember how I stood on the shore,
Waving and waving, until you were gone.

Night is the time for dreaming and sleep,
So snuggle down, dear, in your rose petal sheets,
And dream of sunshine, and blue skies and laughter,
And wake up bright in the morning after.

I must remember that my dreams are my dreams,
and that you will have your own. There are places
in your mind I will never know. I can feed you,
and clothe you, and love you, and teach you,
but you must be free to dream your own dreams,
and find your own path. I only hold you for
a little while, and my hope is for you to be free.

Hush little baby, be quiet as a mouse,
The wind is howling round this little house,
But here inside, it is just us two,
Drifting to sleep in our safe little room.

Hush, little baby, you are only this small
for such a short time. I must dote on you
while I can, store up your baby scent of milk
and soap, and you sweet little toes, and your
calm gaze at this strange world, and your smile
when you see me. Hush, little one, be still in
my arms for this little while, this fragment of time.

 

Day 27, almost at the end of this month of Yeats. Thank you, Jane, for another lovely prompt.

6 thoughts on “Yeats 27

  1. I like the way you’ve set this out, the rather sweet and sugary verses with the expected imagery, and the much more anxious and chopped up verse of the mother who knows the clichés and the trite baby stuff aren’t going to last.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I really wasn’t sure if it worked. I had a long car journey today, and the sugary stuff developed along the way, but then I needed to undermine it with the realities of life. And then I read yours! It was quite odd.

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      • I suppose it’s because that’s the way it is for most people. Maybe there are families where mummy and her baby stay in a mummy and baby relationship without a care in the world until death parts them, but it’s not like that for most of us.

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  2. Such beautiful descriptions pouring from his beauty, especially the blanket of starlight. Just read yours and Jane’s so far today but how lucky your children are to have you both watching out for them. This is a beauty Sarah.

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