Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE MOTHER AND CHILD, by ELIZA L. SPROAT

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THE MOTHER AND CHILD, by            
First Line: A mother pray'd with her heart alone
Last Line: And bore to god her prayer.

A MOTHER pray'd with her heart alone,
For her lips made ne'er a sound;
The angels came in her darken'd room,
And waved their wings around.
"Oh, Lord," she pray'd -- "Thou Lord of might,
Oh, grant my darling Fame,
Among the nobles of the world,
To wear the noblest name.

"A name whose glory waxeth bright,
With still increasing fire;
A name to stand while ages pass,
And make a world admire:
Oh, may there be some spirit near,
My soul's high wish to bear:"
But the angels stood with drooping wings,
Nor moved to waft her prayer.

"Oh, God," she pray'd, "thou infinite,
Oh, grant my darling power;
The might of soul that sways a host
As the fierce wind sways a shower:
And may there be some spirit near
My fervent wish to bear" --
But the steadfast angels sadly stood,
Nor moved to waft her prayer.

"Oh God, who art all Beautiful,
Oh, make my darling fair;
That he may still from life draw love,
Life's essence sweet and rare.
So every heart shall be a harp,
Beneath his touch to sound."
But the shuddering angels sadly stood,
And droop'd their wings around.

"But if," she pray'd, "thou God of love,
He may not grasp at fame,
Oh, grant him strength to face serene
A cold world's cruel blame.
And if he shrink from earthly power,
Nor aim to sway the time,
Gird thou his soul to cope with sin --
A conqueror sublime.

And should he sometime fail to strike
Each heart to love's great tone,
Oh, may he tune to seraph height
The music of his own.
Now may there be some spirit near
My humble wish to bear."
The angels rose on rushing wings,
And bore to God her prayer.

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