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A Roman Doll

(In a Museum)
How an image of paint and wood
Leaped to her life with a love's control,
Struck the chords of her motherhood,
Passionate little mother-soul!
Fair to her sight were the stolid eyes,
Dear to her toil the robes empearled.
She crooned it the ancient lullabies,
She gathered it close from the outer world.
They watched together, as Nero's pyres
Fed the haze of a hundred fires.

Me in her fresh young arms she bore.
See, I am small,
Only a doll.
But I keep her kiss forevermore.

Long and lonely the toy has lain.
One by one into time's abyss
Years have dropped as the drops of rain.
Yet the cycles have left us this!
O red-lipped mother, O mother sweet,
Today a sister has heard you call,
I saw her weep o'er the crumbling doll.
She knew, she knew! You had lived and smiled!
You had loved your dream, little Roman child!

Me in her fresh young arms she bore.
See, I am small,
Only a doll.
But I keep her kiss forevermore.

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