With tiny hands crossed on your chest,
Can I believe you are at rest
Untroubled by the chance denied
To judge yourself the pain described?
“Too young,” they said, “for formèd thought.”
Were any formless dreamings caught
When those intrusive waves of sound
Proclaimed the defect they had found?
Some musings on a life to live?
Of joys to share and love to give?
Some commission in plans divine?
Some contribution wholly thine?
“Too much for anyone to bear”,
“Life not worth living”, some declare.
“More merciful to terminate
And wrench in love from defect’s fate.”
As I examine you, little one,
And I ponder what has been done,
I stand transfixed by half-closed eyes.
Do they forgive? Do they despise?
– Dr John Whitehall