Rock Me to Sleep 

Backward, turn backward, 0 time, in your flight, 
Make me a child again just for to-night! 
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, oh, 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 to-night 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 calms 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 heart 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. 


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