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I felt a mother-want about the world,
And still went seeking, like a bleating lamb
Left out at night, in shutting up the fold, –
As restless as a nest-deserted bird
Grown chill through something being away,

though what
It knows not. I, Aurora Leigh, was born
To make my father sadder, and myself
Not overjoyous, truly. Women know
The way to rear up children (to be just)
They know a simple, merry, tender knack
Of tying sashes, fitting baby-shoes,
And stringing pretty words that make no


And kissing full sense into empty words;
Which things are corals to cut life upon,
Although such trifles: children learn by such
Love's holy earnest in a pretty play,
And get not over-early solemnized, -
But seeing, as in a rose-bush, Love's Divine,
Which burns and hurts not, - not a single

bloom, Become aware and unafraid of Love. Such good do mothers. Fathers love as well. - Mine did, I know, but still with heavier

brains, And wills more consciously responsible, And not as wisely, since less foolishly; So mothers have God's license to be missed.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning CHILD AND MOTHER

O MOTHER-MY-LOVE, if you 'll give me your

hand, And go where I ask you to wander, I will lead you away to a beautiful landThe Dreamland that's waiting out yon

der. We'll walk in a sweet-posie garden out there Where moonlight and starlight are stream

ing And the flowers and birds are filling the

air With fragrance and music of dreaming.

There 'll be no little tired-out boy to undress,

No questions or cares to perplex you; There'll be no little bruises or bumps to

caress, Nor patching of stockings to vex you. For I'll rock you away on a silver-dew

stream, And sing you asleep when you 're weary, And no one shall know of our beautiful

dream But you and

your own little dearie.

And when I am tired I'll nestle


head In the bosom that's soothed me so often, And the wide-awake stars shall sing in my

stead A song which our dreaming shall soften. So Mother-my-Love, let me take your dear

hand, And away through the starlight we'll

wander Away through the mist to the beautiful

land The Dreamland that's waiting out yonder!

Eugene Field


I WADNA gi'e my ain wife

For ony wife I see;
I wadna gi'e my ain wife

For ony wife I see;
A bonnier yet I've never seen,

A better canna be -
I wadna gi'e my ain wife

For ony wife I see!

O couthie is my ingle-cheek,

An' cheerie is my Jean;
I never see her angry look,

Nor hear her word on ane.
She 's gude wi' a' the neebours roun'
aye gude wi' me

I wadna gi'e my ain wife

For ony wife I see.

An' O her looks sae kindlie,

They melt my heart outright,
When o'er the baby at her breast

She hangs wi' fond delight;
She looks intill its bonnie face,
An' syne

looks to me
I wadna gi'e my ain wife
For ony wife I see.

Alexander Laing



She was a phantom of delight
When first she gleamed upon my sight;
A lovely apparition, sent
To be a moment's ornament;
Her eyes as stars of twilight fair ;
Like twilight's, too, her dusky hair;
But all things else about her drawn
From May-time and the cheerful dawn
A dancing shape, an image gay,
To haunt, to startle, and waylay.

I saw


upon nearer view, A spirit, yet a woman too!

Her household motions light and free,
And steps of virgin liberty;
A countenance in which did meet
Sweet records, promises as sweet;
A creature not too bright or good
For human nature's daily food,
For transient sorrows, simple wiles,
Praise, blame, love, kisses, tears, and smiles.

And now I see with eye serene
The very pulse of the machine;
A being breathing thoughtful breath,
A traveler between life and death;
The reason firm, the temperate will,
Endurance, foresight, strength, and skill;
A perfect woman, nobly planned
To warn, to comfort, and command ;
And yet a spirit still, and bright
With something of an angel light.

William Wordsworth


CLING to thy mother; for she was the first

To know thy being, and to feel thy life; The hope of thee through many a pang she

nurst; And when, midst anguish like the parting


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