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To My Mother

Felicia Dorothea Hemans 1793 (Liverpool, Lancashire) – 1835 (Dublin, County Dublin)

IF e'er for human bliss or woe
I feel the sympathetic glow;
If e'er my heart has learn'd to know
The gen'rous wish or pray'r;
Who sow'd the germ, with tender hand?
Who mark'd its infant-leaves expand?
My mother's fost'ring care.

And if one flow'r of charms refin'd
May grace the garden of my mind;
'Twas she who nurs'd it there:
She lov'd to cherish and adorn
Each blossom of the soil;
To banish ev'ry weed and thorn,
That oft oppos'd her toil!

And, oh! if e'er I've sigh'd to claim
The palm, the living palm of fame,
The glowing wreath of praise;
If e'er I've wish'd the glitt'ring stores,
That fortune on her fav'rite pours;
'Twas but, that wealth and fame, if mine,
Round thee, with streaming rays might shine,
And gild thy sun-bright days!

Yet not that splendor, pomp, and pow'r,
Might then irradiate ev'ry hour;
For these, my mother! well I know,
On thee no raptures could bestow;
But could thy bounty, warm and kind,
Be, like thy wishes, unconfin'd;
And fall, as manna from the skies,
And bid a train of blessings rise,
Diffusing joy and peace;
The tear-drop, grateful, pure and bright,
For thee would beam with softer light,

Than all the diamond's crystal rays,
Than all the emerald's lucid blaze;
And joys of heav'n would thrill thy heart,
To bid one bosom-grief depart,
One tear, one sorrow cease!

Then, oh! may heav'n, that loves to bless,
Bestow the pow'r to cheer distress;
Make thee its minister below,
To light the cloudy path of woe;
To visit the deserted cell,
Where indigence is doom'd to dwell;
To raise, when drooping to the earth,
The blossoms of neglected worth;
And round, with lib'ral hand dispense,
The sunshine of beneficence!

But, ah! if fate should still deny
Delights like these, too rich and high;

If grief and pain thy steps assail,
In life's remote and wintry vale;
Then, as the wild Eolian lyre,
Complains with soft, entrancing number,
When the loud storm awakes the wire,
And bids enchantment cease to slumber;
So filial love, with soothing voice,
E'en then, shall teach thee to rejoice;
E'en then, shall sweeter, milder sound,
When sorrow's tempest raves around;
While dark misfortune's gales destroy,
The frail, mimosa-buds of hope and joy!

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

2:06 min read
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Felicia Dorothea Hemans

Felicia Dorothea Hemans was an English poet. Two of her opening lines, "The boy stood on the burning deck" and "The stately homes of England", have acquired classic status. more…

All Felicia Dorothea Hemans poems | Felicia Dorothea Hemans Books

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    "To My Mother" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 14 Jun 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/13647/to-my-mother>.

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