10 May 1856
So the simple headstone said. Why did my eyes fill? I never saw the little creature. I never looked in his laughing eye, or heard his merry shout, or listened for his tripping tread; I never pillowed his little head, or bore his little form, or smoothed his silky locks, or laved his dimpled limbs, or fed his cherry lips with dainty bits, or kissed his rosy cheek as he lay sleeping.
I did not see his eye grow dim; or his little hand droop powerless; or the dew of agony gather on his pale forehead; I stood not with clasped hands and suspended breath, and watched the look that comes but once, flit over his cherub face. And yet, "little Benny," my tears are falling; for, somewhere, I know, there is an empty crib, a vacant chair, useless robes and toys, a desolate hearthstone, and a weeping mother.
It was all her full heart could utter; and it was enough. It tells the whole story.
Fanny Fern, "'Little Benny,'" The New-York Ledger (10 May 1856): 4
To cite this project:
Fanny Fern, "'Little Benny,'" Fanny Fern in The New York Ledger, Ed. Kevin McMullen (2018) http://fannyfern.org.