Mother and Child by Eugene Field
One night a tiny dewdrop fell
Into the bosom of a rose,–
“Dear little one, I love thee well,
Be ever here thy sweet repose!”
Seeing the rose with love bedight,
The envious sky frowned dark, and then
Sent forth a messenger of light
And caught the dewdrop up again.
“Oh, give me back my heavenly child,–
My love!” the rose in anguish cried;
Alas! the sky triumphant smiled,
And so the flower, heart-broken, died.
Why do so many of the poems regarding the death of a child end up with the mother wishing for death herself? As somebody who has wished it for myself, I can say that for me it’s because I just wanted to be with my baby. I’ve written about it on this blog before, that in my darkest despair I’ve wished I could have gone with him. And the theme seems to consistently find itself worked into literature. Parents are not supposed to outlive their children – when you do, it feels unnatural. The world feels wrong somehow. I felt as though I would literally die of a broken heart. At times I still do.