Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, A MOTHER'S SONG, by ANNA HEMPSTEAD BRANCH



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A MOTHER'S SONG, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: I have not yet known mother's grief
Last Line: I rock him on my knee.
Subject(s): Mothers


I HAVE not yet known Mother's grief
For I can comfort thee.
Child, I can smile above the tears
So swiftly eased by me.
I know in time my son shall grow
Beyond his Mother's ken.
And half a stranger he will go
Among the world of men.
Then shall I know a Mother's grief --
His separate bitterness.
My heart will break if his must ache
With wounds I cannot guess.
'T is little pain to bear a child
Beside this other woe.
To feel the helplessness to soothe
The want that grieves him so.
(I hear a man cry in the dark,
He journeys on alone.)
Lie close, lie close, my little son,
While yet thou art my own.
(His heart is broken by stranger hands,
I may not give him rest.)
My darling one, my child, my Son!
I hold thee on my breast.
(The heart in him is sick with need,
For help I may not give.)
Perchance the smiles I spend on thee
May help that stranger live.
(Unhoused, along a barren road,
I bear a pilgrim weep.)
But in his heart is the little song
That sings thee now to sleep.
(The bitter brand of this world's shame
Is sealed upon his brow.)
But in his hand is a New Name --
The kiss I give thee now!
For when my child is grown -- is grown --
He'll get this help from me,
That now, while he is all my own,
I rock him on my knee.






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