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Ella Wheeler Wilcox

(5 November 1850 - 30 October 1919 / Johnstown Center / Rock County / Wisconsin)

A Baby In The House


I knew that a baby was hid in that house,
Though I saw no cradle and heard no cry;
But the husband was tip-toeing 'round like a mouse,
And the good wife was humming a soft lullaby;
And there was a look on the face of the mother,
That I knew could mean only one thing, and no other.

The mother, I said to myself, for I knew
That the woman before me was certainly that;
And there lay in a corner a tiny cloth shoe,
And I saw on a stand such a wee little hat;
And the beard of the husband said, plain as could be,
'Two fat chubby hands have been tugging at me.'

And he took from his pocket a gay picture-book,
And a dog that could bark, if you pulled on a string;
And the wife laid them up with such a pleased look;
And I said to myself, 'There is no other thing
But a babe that could bring about all this, and so
That one thing is in hiding somewhere, I know.'

I stayed but a moment, and saw nothing more,
And heard not a sound, yet I know I was right;
What else could the shoe mean that lay on the floor,
The book and the toy, and the faces so bright;
And what made the husband as still as a mouse?
I am sure, very sure, there's a babe in that house.

Submitted: Sunday, May 18, 2003

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