Thomas Wentworth Higginson

The Baby Sorceress

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My baby sits beneath the tall elm-trees,
A wreath of tangled ribbons in her hands;
She twines and twists the many-coloured strands,--
A little sorceress, weaving destinies.
Now the pure white she grasps; now naught can please
But strips of crimson, lurid as the brands
From passion's fires; or yellow, like the sands
That lend soft netting to the azure seas.
And so with sweet, incessant toil she fills
A summer hour, still following fancies new,
Till through my heart a sudden terror thrills
Lest, as she weaves, her aimless choice prove true.
Thank God! our Fates proceed not from our wills:
The Power that spins the thread shall blend the hue.

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Thomas Wentworth Higginson