The Little White Hearse

Original Text: 
Poems by Ella Wheeler Wilcox (Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1919): 351-52. PS 3310 A2 1919 York University Library
1Somebody's baby was buried to-day --
2    The empty white hearse from the grave rumbled back,
3And the morning somehow seemed less smiling and gay
4    As I paused on the walk while it crossed on its way,
5And a shadow seemed drawn o'er the sun's golden track.
6Somebody's baby was laid out to rest,
7    White as a snowdrop, and fair to behold,
8And the soft little hands were crossed over the breast,
9    And those hands and the lips and the eyelids were pressed
10With kisses as hot as the eyelids were cold.
11Somebody saw it go out of her sight,
12    Under the coffin lid -- out through the door;
13Somebody finds only darkness and blight
14    All through the glory of summer-sun light;
15Somebody's baby will waken no more.
16Somebody's sorrow is making me weep:
17    I know not her name, but I echo her cry,
18For the dearly bought baby she longed so to keep,
19    The baby that rode to its long-lasting sleep
20In the little white hearse that went rumbling by.
21I know not her name, but her sorrow I know;
22    While I paused on the crossing I lived it once more,
23And back to my heart surged that river of woe
24    That but in the breast of a mother can flow;
25For the little white hearse has been, too, at my door.
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: