Tuesday, May 14, 2013


Backward, turn backward, 0 Time, in your flight,
Make me a child again just for tonight!
 Mother, come back from the echoless shore,
 Take me again to your heart, as of yore;
 Kiss from my forehead the furrows of care,
 Smooth the few silver threads out of my hair;
Over my slumbers your loving watch keep,
Rock me to sleep, mother, rock me to sleep.

Backward, flow backward, O tide of the years!
 I am so weary of toil and of tears-­
Toil without recompense, tears all in vain-
­Take them and give me my childhood again!
I have grown weary of dust and decay-
­Weary of flinging my soul-wealth away;
Weary of sowing for others to reap;
Rock me to sleep, mother, rock me to sleep.

Tired of the hollow, the base, the untrue,
 Mother, 0 mother, my heart calls for you!
Many a summer the grass has grown green
Blossomed and faded, our faces between;
Yet, with strong yearning and passionate pain,
Long I tonight for your presence again,
Come from the silence so long and so deep;
 Rock me to sleep, mother- rock me to sleep.
Over my heart in the days that are flown
No love like mother-love ever has shone;
No other worship abides and endures­
Faithful, unselfish and patient like yours,
None like a mother can charm away pain.
From the sick soul and the world-weary brain.
Slumber's soft calm o'er my heavy lids creep;
Rock me to sleep, mother- rock me to sleep.

Come, let your brown hair, just lighted with gold,
 Fall on your shoulders again, as of old;
Let it drop over my forehead tonight,
Shading my faint eyes away from the light;
For with its sunny-edged shadows once more
Haply will throng the sweet visions of yore;
Lovingly, softly, its bright billows sweep­-
Rock me to sleep, mother; rock me to sleep!

Mother, dear mother, the years have been long
Since I last listened your lullaby song.
Sing, then, and unto my soul it shall seem
Womanhood's years have been only a dream.
Clasped to your breast in a loving embrace,
With your light lashes just sweeping my face,
Never hereafter to wake or to weep-­
Rock me to sleep, mother; rock me to sleep.

Florence Percy (pen name): Elizabeth Akers Allen.

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