Pray, may I ask you, worthy lad,
Whose smile no care can smother,
Though busy life throbs round about,
Have you written home to mother?
You are fast forgetting, aren't you, quite,
How fast the weeks went flying;
And that a little blotted sheet
Unanswered still is lying?
Don't you remember how she stood,
With wistful glance at parting?
Don't you remember how the tears
Were in her soft eyes starting?
Have you forgotten how her arm
Stole round you to caress you?
Have you forgotten those low words:
"Good-by, my son; God bless you?"
Oh! do not wrong her patient love;
Save God's, there is no other
So faithful through all mists of sin;
Fear not to write to mother.
Tell her how hard it is to walk
As walked the Master, lowly;
Tell her how hard it is to keep
A man's life pure and holy.
Tell her to keep the lamp of prayer,
A light, a beacon burning;
Whose beams shall reach you far away,
Shall lure your soul returning.
Tell her you love her dearly still,
For fear some sad tomorrow
Shall bear away the listening soul
And leave you lost in sorrow.
And then. through bitter, falling tears,
And sighs you may not smother,
You will remember when too late
You did not write to mother.
Jane Ronalson, in Banner of Gold.