No foreign tribute from a stranger-hand,
Mother, I bring thee, whom not Heaven's songs
Would as an alien reach.... Ah, but how far
From Heaven's least heavenly is the changing note
And changing fancy of these fitful cries!
Mother, forgive them, as the best of me
Has ever pleaded only for thy pardon,
Not for thy praise.
Mother, there is a love
Men give to wives and children, lovers, friends;
There is a love which some men give to God.
Ah! between this, I think, and that last love,
Last and too-late-discovered love of God,
There shines--and nearer to the love of God--
The love a man gives only to his mother,
Whose travail of dear thought has never end
Until the End. Oh that my mouth had words
Comfortable as thy kisses to the boy
Who loved while he forgot thee! Now I love,
Sundered and far, with daily heart's remembrance
The face the wind brings to me, the sun lights,
The birds and waters sing; the face of thee
Whom I love with a love like love of God.