Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, MOTHER TO SON, by IRENE RUTHERFORD MCLEOD

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MOTHER TO SON, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Before I knew the love of man
Last Line: To you, go thread them for a song.
Alternate Author Name(s): De Selincourt, Aubrey, Mrs.
Subject(s): Mothers

BEFORE I knew the love of man
The lovely dream of you began.
When I said, "Jesus meek and mild,"
My Jesus was a little child.
I nursed the kitten on my knee,
And nursed you where no eye could see.
When I grew up to woman's grace
I saw you in your father's face,
Your hands were beating at my breast,
And gave my womanhood no rest,
You little soul called each to each,
And laid bright heaven in our reach,
My body fed your body, son,
But birth's a swift thing, swiftly done,
Compared to one-and-twenty years
Of feeding you with spirit's tears.
I could not make your mind and soul,
But my glad hands have kept you whole,
And tears have kept God's pastures green,
And washed the temple sweet and clean.
Think you that I have lived in vain
These years of wonder, joy, and pain?
The years when Jesus meek and mild
Was my beloved little child!
And when the first shy touch of things
Waked in my heart a thousand springs,
And bade me open childhood's gate
And give my woman's hand to fate?
The moment when your groping hands
Bound me to life with ruthless bands,
When all my living became a prayer,
And all my days built up a stair
For your young feet that trod behind,
That you an aspiring way should find!
Think you that life can give you pain,
Which does not stab in me again?
Think you that life can give you pleasure
Which is not my undying treasure?
Think you that life can give you shame
Which does not make my pride go lame?
And you can do no evil thing
Which sears not me with poisoned sting.
Because of all that I have done,
Remember me in life, O son!
Keep that proud body fine and fair,
My love is monumented there.
For my love make no woman weep,
For my love hold no woman cheap,
And see you give no woman scorn
For that dark night when you were born.
Beloved, all my years belong
To you, go thread them for a song.

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