THREE children to their mother's side had pressed, 

And eager voices made their loud acclaim, 

Conflicting prayers, imperious request, 

Wide differing tastes, that could not be the same. 

I marked with wonder, how with patience wise, 

Untroubled brow, and loving, gentle smile, 

She hears each one, to each she soft replies, 

And all their varying wants does reconcile. 

One wish she grants, another must deny, 

Yet gives the pleader something in its place; 

Loves all alike, sees with impartial eye, 

And measures gifts to meet each suitor's case. 

And thus, when once you said to me, dear friend, 

That you believed in God, but not that he 

To individual prayers his ear would lend, 

Since oft conflicting men's desires must be,— 

I thought of this sweet mother, and her plan, 

How she the children's wants did satisfy, 

And learned how God's far wider wisdom can 

Most loving grant, and tenderly deny! 

—Susan M. Day.