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T is not yours, O mother, to complain, Not, mother, yours to weep, Though nevermore your son again Shall to your bosom creep,

Though nevermore again you watch your baby sleep.

Though in the greener paths of earth,
Mother and child, no more

We wander; and no more the birth

Of me whom once you bore,

Seems still the brave reward that once it seemed of yore;

Though as all passes, day and night,

The seasons and the years,

From you, O mother, this delight,

This also disappears

Some profit yet survives of all your pangs

and tears.

The child, the seed, the grain of corn,
The acorn on the hill,

Each for some separate end is born
In season fit, and still

Each must in strength arise to work the
almighty will.

So from the hearth the children flee,

By that almighty hand

Austerely led; so one by sea

Goes forth, and one by land;

Nor aught of all man's sons escapes from

that command.

So from the sally each obeys
The unseen almighty nod;
So till the ending all their ways

Blindfolded loth have trod:

Nor knew their task at all, but were the

tools of God.

And as the fervent smith of yore

Beat out the glowing blade, Nor wielded in the front of war

The weapons that he made,

But in the tower at home still plied his ringing trade;

So like a sword the son shall roam

On nobler missions sent;

And as the smith remained at home

In peaceful turret pent,

So sits the while at home the mother well content.


Child. O MOTHER, lay your hand on

my brow!

O mother, mother, where am I now? Why is the room so gaunt and great?

Why am I lying awake so late?

Mother. Fear not at all: the night is still. Nothing is here that means you ill

Nothing but lamps the whole town through,

And never a child awake but you.

Child. Mother, mother, speak low in my


Some of the things are so great and


Some are so small and far away,

I have a fear that I cannot say.

What have I done, and what do I


And why are you crying, mother dear?

Mother. Out in the city, sounds begin Thank the kind God, the carts come in!

An hour or two more and God is so kind,

The day shall be blue in the windowblind,

Then shall my child go sweetly


And dream of the birds and the hills of sheep.

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