My Christian Name

Dinah Maria Mulock Craik 1826 (Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire) – 1887 (Shortlands, London)

MY Christian name, my Christian name,
I never hear it now:
None have the right to utter it,
'T is lost, I scare know how.
My worldly name the world speaks loud;
Thank God for well-earned fame!

But silence sits at my cold hearth,--
I have no household name.

My Christian name, my Christian name,
It has an uncouth sound;
My mother chose it out of those
In Bible pages found:
Mother, whose accents made half sweet
What else I held in shame,
Dost thou remember up in heaven
My poor lost Christian name?

Brothers and sisters, mockers oft
Of the quaint name I bore,
Would I could leap back years, to hear
Ye shout it out once more!
One speaks it still, in written lines,
The last fraternal claim:
But the wide seas between us drown
Its sound--my Christian name.

I had a long dream once. Her voice
Might breathe the homely word,
And make it music--as love makes
Any name, said or heard.
O, dumb, dumb lips!--O, silent heart!
Though it is no ones' blame:
Now while I live I'll never hear
Her speak my Christian name.

God send her bliss, and send me rest!
If her white footsteps calm
Should track my bleeding feet, God make
To them each blood-drop balm!
Peace--peace. O mother, put thou forth
Thine elder, holier claim,
And the first word I hear in heaven
May be my Christian name.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Dinah Maria Mulock Craik

Dinah Maria Craik (; born Dinah Maria Mulock, also often credited as Miss Mulock or Mrs. Craik) was an English novelist and poet. She is best remembered for her novel John Halifax, Gentleman, which presents the mid-Victorian ideals of English middle-class life.  more…

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