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HYMN FOR THE MOTHER

My child is lying on my knees;

The signs of heaven she reads;
My face is all the heaven she sees,

Is all the heaven she needs.

And she is well, yea, bathed in bliss,

If heaven is in my face,
Behind it is all tenderness

And truthfulness and grace.

I mean her well so earnestly,

Unchanged in' changing mood;
My life would go without a sigh

To bring her something good.

I also am a child, and I

Am ignorant and weak;
I gaze upon the starry sky, ,

And then I must not speak;

For all behind the starry sky,

Behind the world so broad,
Behind men's hearts and souls doth lie

The Infinite of God.

Ay, true to her, though troubled sore,

I cannot choose but be:
Thou who art peace forevermore
Art very true to me.

Hymn for the Mother

If I am low and sinful, bring

More love where need is rife; Thou knowest what an awful thing

It is to be a life.

Hast thou not wisdom to enwrap

My waywardness about,
In doubting safety on the lap

Of Love that knows no doubt ?

Lo! Lord, I sit in thy wide space,

My child upon my knee; She looketh up into my face, And I look up to thee.

GEORGE MACDONALD

FOREWORD

SCATTERED throughout the works of the great poets, there are many beautiful tributes to mothers and subtle interpretations of motherhood; also, in old as well as in very new poems, there are illuminating suggestions to mothers regarding both their opportunities and their responsibilities. This valuable body of “mother literature" has but one drawback the fact that it is so diffused. The aim of this book has been to gather together in one volume the very best poems from these various sources, for the use and also for the enjoyment of presento day mothers, both young and old.

E. McC. CAMBRIDGE, April, 1917.

· ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

THANKS are due the following publishers, and individual owners of copyrights, for their kind permission to include the selections enumerated below :

To American Motherhood, for “My Mother," by Frederic Hentz Adams. To the Century Company, for “ An English Mother," from Saint-Gaudens, and Other Poems, by Robert Underwood Johnson. To B. W. Huebsch, for “ Mother to Son,” and “One Mother,” by Irene Rutherford McLeod. To Little, Brown & Co., for “ Seven Times Four," by Jean Ingelow; and “ To My First Love, My Mother," by Christina G. Rossetti. To Charles Scribner's Sons, for “ A Christmas Carol,” and “ Cradle Song,” by Josiah Gilbert Holland; “ Child and Mother,” “ Japanese Lullaby,” and 66

Wynken, Blynken, and Nod,” by Eugene Field ; and “ Matres Dolorosæ," by Robert Bridges. To Sherman, French & Co., for “Motherhood," from The Border of the Lake, by Agnes Lee. To Small, Maynard & Co., for “ Christ the Mendicant," " At Bethlehem,” and “ To His Mother,” by John Banister Tabb. To Anna Hempstead

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