[Editor: This poem by Philip Durham Lorimer was published in Songs and Verses by Philip Durham Lorimer: An Australian Bush Poet, 1901.]
The Empty Cradle
Lay it aside ; to-day a shadow fell
Upon our little darling resting there,
And now the sunbeams find the cradle bare
Where all our hopes did dwell.
Lay it aside ; our grief’s enough to break
Love’s heart : to look upon that shrine —
Our girlie’s face — I see it now in thine ;
A phantom likeness take.
Lay it aside ; our souls can find no rest
While those white curtains have no laughing eyes
That came — and fled away with summer skies,
By them to be caressed.
Lay it aside — and let our memories be
Still pleasant with our baby’s winning ways,
When with its smiles it joined us in our praise,
And life was melody.
Lay it aside — ah, no ! let it have place,
That when our troubles darken most the night,
This little cot may then reflect some light
As from our darling’s face !
Murrumburrah, January 7, 187 1.
E. A. Petherick (editor). Songs and Verses by Philip Durham Lorimer: An Australian Bush Poet, William Clowes and Sons, London, 1901, pages 83-84