Bayard Taylor image

Bayard Taylor

Jan. 11, 1825 - Dec 19, 1878


The Mother

by Bayard Taylor

Paler, and yet a thousand times more fair
Than in thy girlhood's freshest bloom, art thou:
A softer sun-flush tints thy golden hair,
A sweeter grace adorns thy gentle brow.

Lips that shall call thee mother! at thy breast
Feed the young life, wherein thy nature feels
Its dear fulfilment: little hands are pressed
On the white fountain Love alone unseals.

Look down, and let Life's tender daybreak throw
A second radiance on thy ripened hour:
Retrace thine own forgotten advent so,
And in the bud behold thy perfect flower.

Nay, question not: whatever lies beyond
God will dispose. Sit thus, Madonna mine,
For thou art haloed with a love as fond
As Jewish Mary gave the Child Divine.

I lay my own proud title at thy feet;
Thine the first, holiest right to love shalt be:
Though in his heart our wedded pulses beat,
His sweetest life our darling draws from thee.

The father in his child beholds this truth,
His perfect manhood has assumed its reign:
Thou wear'st anew the roses of thy youth, --
The mother in her child is born again.


The Poet's Journal
Copyright 1863
Ticknor and Fields, Boston