A Changeling by Adelaide Anne Procter

A little changeling spirit
Crept to my arms one day:
I had no heart or courage
To drive the child away.

So all day long I soothed her,
And hushed her on my breast;
And all night long her wailing
Would never let me rest.

I dug a grave to hold her,
A grave both dark and deep;
I covered her with violets,
And laid her there to sleep.

I used to go and watch there,
Both night and morning too:-
It was my tears, I fancy,
That kept the violets blue.

I took her up: and once more
I felt the clinging hold,
And heard the ceaseless wailing
That wearied me of old.

I wandered, and I wandered,
With my burden on my breast,
Till I saw a church-door open,
And entered in to rest.

In the dim, dying daylight,
Set in a flowery shrine,
I saw the Virgin Mother
Holding her Child divine.

I knelt down there in silence,
And on the Altar-stone
I laid my wailing burden,
And came away–alone.

And now that little spirit,
That sobbed so all day long,
Is grown a shining Angel,
With wines both wide and strong.

She watches me from Heaven,
With loving, tender care,
And one day she has promised
That I shall find her there.

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