I think God has with stars impearled
The words: 'Good Mothers of the World.'
But that has not made scant supply
Of stars remaining in the sky;
For what the Maker means by 'good'
Is not that word as understood
By men and women who, to-day,
Walk in tradition's ruts and say
'Good mother' of some selfish soul
Who for her children wants the whole
Of all earth's blessings, with no care
How other mothers' children fare.
She lions seize the lion's share
For their own cubs; but that same bent
Of impulse was not God's intent
For mothers of the human race.
Man should mount upward to his place
Close to immortals. Steep the climb--
Needing each moment of the time
To earth allotted. This the work
The rare good mother does not shirk--
Leading the young, outreaching mind
To thoughts of kinship for its kind,
Showing the way to larger joys
By sharing of the childish toys,
And stamping on the waxlike brain
This truth: All mankind is a chain--
Each life a link or great or small,
United portions of the All;
And he who harms a living thing
Harm to the whole vast world must bring.
Good Mothers rouse in each young soul
Its latent power of self-control.
The builder--Mind--receives from her
Timbers for lofty character.
And from the soil up to the skies,
She helps the structure spread and rise.
Poems of affection. By Ella Wheeler Wilcox.
London: Gay & Hancock, 1920.
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