Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE CHILDREN, by MARY K. BUCK

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THE CHILDREN, by            
First Line: Through the day, when the children are round me
Last Line: Mother's smile and the tender caress.
Subject(s): Mothers

THROUGH the day, when the children are round me,
So full of their laughter and play,
I, busy and careworn, oft wonder
How they can be always so gay.
While I long for rest, they care only
To frolic and romp all the day.

They weary me so with their chatter,
Their constant demands and their noise;
They leave muddy tracks on the carpet,
And litter the room with their toys,--
Till at times from a heart that's o'erburdened
I mete out harsh words to my boys.

But at night, when so softly they're sleeping,
Cuddled down in each snug little bed,
With busy hands safe from all mischief,
And quiet each restless young head,
And a look of such peace on their features
As if never a tear they had shed,--

As I gaze on their dear rosy faces,
So sweet in their innocent sleep,
I pardon, unasked, all their mischief,
Nor thought of their naughtiness keep,
For my heart overflows in the silence
With love that is tender and deep.

How small seem the trifles that vex me!
How could they have power to annoy!
And gently I fold the worn garments,
And pick up each battered old toy,
While I think of the homes where no children
Repay every care with a joy,--

Sad homes where their merry young voices
No longer the glad echoes start,
To fall, like the sweetest of music,
On a mother's lone aching heart;
Whose dear ones too soundly are sleeping
From her sheltering arms apart.

O mothers, like me, who are weary,
And often too hastily chide,
Keep not your fond words for the sleepers,
Nor wait for the darkness to hide
The love welling up from the heart-spring
When kneeling your darlings beside.

Let us give of our best in the daytime;
Let mother-love brighten and bless
The pathway the dear ones must travel;
Too soon will life's burden oppress;
Let theirs be the joy to remember
Mother's smile and the tender caress.

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