Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, CLING TO THY MOTHER, by GEORGE WASHINGTON BETHUNE

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CLING TO THY MOTHER, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Cling to thy mother, for she was the first
Last Line: To thee as faithful, as thou were to me.
Subject(s): Mothers

CLING to thy mother; for she was the first
To know thy being, and to feel thy life;
The hope of thee through many a pang she nurst;
And when, midst anguish like the parting strife,
Her babe was in her arms, the agony
Was all forgot, for bliss of loving thee.
Be gentle to thy mother; long she bore
Thine infant fretfulness and silly youth;
Nor rudely scorn the faithful voice that o'er
Thy cradle pray'd, and tanght thy lispings truth.
Yes, she is old; yet on thine adult brow
She looks, and claims thee as her child e'en now.

Uphold thy mother; close to her warm heart
She carried, fed thee, lull'd thee to thy rest;
Then taught thy tottering limbs their untried art,
Exulting in the fledging from her nest;
And now her steps are feeble, by her stay,
Whose strength was thine in thy most feeble day.

Cherish thy mother; brief perchance the time
May be that she will claim the care she gave;
Part are her hopes of youth, her harvest prime
Of joy on earth; her friends are in the grave;
But for her children, she could lay her head
Gladly to rest among her precious dead.

Be tender with thy mother; words unkind,
Or light neglect from thee, will give a pang
To that fond bosom, where thou art enshrined
In love unutterable, more than fang
Of venom'd serpent. Wound not that strong trust
As thou wouldst hope for peace when she is dust.

O mother mine! God grant I ne'er forget,
Whatever be my grief, or what my joy,
The unmeasured, inextinguishable debt
I owe thy love; but make my sweet employ
Ever through thy remaining days to be
To thee as faithful, as thou were to me.

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