My Mother

OH! How gently o'er my pillow,

With a kind and loving grace,

In my chamber in the evening,

Bent my mother's loving face,

As she smoothed the tangled ringlets

From my boyish brow, and said:

"Learn of me this prayer, my darling;

Say it when you go to bed.

And I looked with holy reverence

On her face so much divine,

Bending o'er me in the twilight

Bending down so close to mine.

And her eyes oh! language fails me

For a truthful simile

Sad and tender, deep, expressive,

Bent so lovingly on me.

"Now I lay me" say it, darling

"Down to sleep," with ma repeat;

And with faltering voice I whispered,

"Now I lay me down to sleep."

And when all the prayer was finished,

And a word I did not miss,

Bending lower still, she whispered,

"Good night, darling;" then a kiss.

Years have passed, and I am older,

Still as fresh in memory

Are the prayer and sweet commandment

That my mother taught to me.

In the crown of her rejoicing,

I shall shine as one bright star,

Which, by earnest, tearful labor,

She has won, in Heaven to wear.

The Standard.