A Mother’s Christmas Thoughts

This poem by ‘Madge Merton’ – a possible pseudonym of Canadian writer/journalist Elmira Elliott Atkinson – appeared in the December 1891 issue of Godey’s Lady’s Book.

A Mother’s Christmas Thoughts

He kissed her with a soft good-night,
Her boy, grown tall and strong;
And she, alone in dim twilight,
Across the years has gone.

Sweet, patient face, dear mother heart,
Aching its sad, lone way
To those past years—that nobler part
Where little children play.

And all the fire-lit, cosy room
She filled with vanished joys;
And ’round the hearth, in dark’ning gloom,
Clustered her one-time boys.

Wee Harry played with drum and fife,
And led a mimic fray;
Poor lad, he lived a soldier’ s life,
And died the death one day.

And Harold watched an engine puff
And o’er the hearth-rug fly;
“I’ll be a driver, sure enough,
Won’t I, mamma,” he’d cry.

Tall John was all was left to-night,
The others nobly died;
One in the thickest of the fight,
And one steel rails beside.

Slow down the mother’s cheeks there ran
Tears born of chastened grief;
The tears that bridge a sorrow’s span,
And bring a sweet relief.

Sweet, patient face, dear mother-heart,
Aching its sad, lone way
Across to Christmas Eve’s apart,
Where little children play.

As Printed

A Mother's Christmas Thoughts - Godey's Lady's Book - December 1891

A Mother’s Christmas Thoughts – Godey’s Lady’s Book – December 1891


Collection: Godey’s Lady’s Book
Date: December, 1891
Title: A Mother’s Christmas Thoughts
Location: Philadelphia, PA

All images included in blog posts are from either Accessible Archives collections or out of copyright public sources unless otherwise noted. Common sources include the Library of Congress, The Flickr Commons, Wikimedia Commons, and other public archives.

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