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WHO fed me from her gentle breast, And hushed me in her arms to rest, And on my cheek sweet kisses pressed? My Mother.

When sleep forsook my open eye,
Who was it sang sweet lullaby,

And rocked me that I should not cry?

My Mother.

Who sat and watched my infant head,
When sleeping on my cradle bed,
And tears of sweet affection shed?

My Mother.

When pain and sickness made me cry, Who gazed upon my heavy eye,

And wept for fear that I should die?

My Mother.

Who dressed my doll in clothes so gay, And taught me pretty how to play,

And minded all I had to say?

My Mother.

Who ran to help me when I fell,
And would some pretty story tell,
Or kiss the place to make it well?

My Mother.

Who taught my infant lips to pray, And love God's holy book and day, And walk in wisdom's Pleasant way? My Mother.

And can I ever cease to be,
Affectionate and kind to thee,

Who was so very kind to me?

My Mother.

Ah! no, the thought I cannot bear, And if God please my life to spare, I hope I shall reward thy care,

My Mother.

When thou art feeble, old, and gray, My healthy arms shall be thy stay, And I will soothe thy pains away, My Mother.

And when I see thee hang thy head, 'T will be my turn to watch thy bed, And tears of sweet affection shed,

My Mother.

For God, who lives above the skies, Would look with vengeance in his eyes, If I should ever dare despise

My Mother.

Jane Taylor


I THOUGHT it was the little bed

I slept in long ago;

A straight white curtain at the head,
And two smooth knobs below.

I thought I saw the nursery fire,
And in a chair well-known
My mother sat, and did not tire
With reading all alone.

If I should make the slightest sound
To show that I'm awake,

She'd rise, and lap the blankets round,
My pillow softly shake;

Kiss me and turn my face to see.

The shadows on the wall,

And then sing "Rousseau's Dream" to


Till fast asleep I fall.

But this is not my little bed;
That time is far away:

With strangers now I live instead,

From dreary day to day.

William Allingham



LOVE thy mother, little one!

Kiss and clasp her neck againHereafter she may have a son

Will kiss and clasp her neck in vain. Love thy mother, little one!

Gaze upon her living eyes,

And mirror back her love for thee,-
Hereafter thou mayst shudder sighs
To meet them when they cannot see.
Gaze upon her living eyes!

Press her lips the while they glow

With love that they have often told,Hereafter thou mayst press in woe,

And kiss them till thine own are cold. Press her lips the while they glow!

Oh, revere her raven hair!

Although it be not silver-gray


Too early Death, led on by Care,
May snatch save one dear lock away.
Oh, revere her raven hair!

Pray for her at eve and morn,

That Heaven may long the stroke defer ;For thou mayst live the hour forlorn

When thou wilt ask to die with her.

Pray for her at eve and morn!

Thomas Hood


RING-TING! I wish I were a Primrose, A bright yellow Primrose blowing in the


The stooping boughs above me,
The wandering bee to love me,
The fern and moss to creep across,
And the Elm-tree for our king!

Nay-stay! I wish I were an Elm-tree, A great lofty Elm-tree, with green leaves gay!

The winds would set them dancing,

The sun and moonshine glance in,

The birds would house among the boughs, And sweetly sing!

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