Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

Here are two clasic poems for Mother's Day. The first is by Christina Rossetti. If it seems to be a bit lacking in her usual polish, you need to know that this was her first poem, written in 1842, to her mother. Ms. Rossetti was 11 at the time.

To My Mother

To-day’s your natal day,
Sweet flowers I bring;
Mother, accept, I pray,
My offering.

And may you happy live,
And long us bless;
Receiving as you give
Great happiness.

This next poem was written by another of my favorite English poets of the 19th century, Rudyard Kipling. He did it all; journalist, poet, master of any genre he chose, this was the introduction to his novel, "The Light That Failed", which was released in 1891. This introduction came to stand on it's own, especially amongst the British forces up to and through the Second World War.

Mother o’ Mine

If I were hanged on the highest hill,
Mother o’ mine, O mother o’ mine
I know whose love would follow me still,
Mother o’ mine, O mother o’ mine!

If I were drowned in the deepest sea,
Mother o’ mine, O mother o’ mine
I know whose tears would come down to me,
Mother o’ mine, O mother o’ mine!

If I were damned of body and soul,
I know whose prayers would make me whole,
Mother o’ mine, 0 mother o’ mine!

My own Mom passed away in 1984. That's her on the left, with me standing behind her. The photo was taken aboard the USS Milwaukee in 1978. Though she has been gone for almost 3 decades, we still speak often, and she has interceded on my behalf several times over the years. It's the only explanation I have for having now lived to be older than she was when she left!

So, to all Mothers everywhere, you have the hardest job on the planet. Thanks for doing it well. It's often said that the hope of the world lies in today's children. But it is equally true, to a great extent, that the future of those children lies in the hands of their Mothers. Happy Mother's Day!

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