O what memories sweet entwine
Around each word and faded line!
Yellow and dim with the touch of years,
And soiled with the marks of tears--
A sacred treasure of the heart
Which death alone can from him part--
A letter--cherished as no other--
And ending with the name of--Mother!
Writ it was to a wayward boy,
When life to him seemed full of joy--
Pleading with him so to live
That he her heart no grief would give--
That after years might ne'er be fraught
With sorrow that himself had wrought:--
"May guardian angels 'round you hover,"
She wrote--and signed the name of--Mother!
The paper has the taint of must--
The hand that traced the lines is dust,
And silvery hair is on the head
Of that same boy since first he read
This missive from the sainted one
That bore her love to an erring son--
More fondly prized than any other--
'Twas written by the hand of--Mother!