The Infanticide

A poem by Madison Julius Cawein

She took her babe, the child of shame and sin,
And wrapped it warmly in her shawl and went
From house to house for work. Propriety bent
A look of wonder on her; raised a din
Of Christian outrage. None would take her in.
All that she had was gone; had long been spent.
Penniless and hungry by the road she leant,
No friend to go to and no one of kin.
The babe at last began to cry for food.
Her breasts were dry; she had no milk to give.
She was so tired and cold. What could she do?
... The next day in a pool within a wood
They found the babe.... 'Twas hard enough to live,
She found, for one; impossible for two.

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