Who fed me from her gentle breast,
And hush’d me in her arms to rest,
And on my cheek sweet kisses prest?
When sleep forsook my open eye,
Who was it sung sweet hushaby,
And rock’d me that I should not cry?
Who sat and watched my infant head,
When sleeping in my cradle bed,
And tears of sweet affection shed?
When pain and sickness made me cry,
Who gazed upon my heavy eye,
And wept for fear that I should die?
Who dress’d my doll in clothes so gay,
And taught me pretty how to play.
And minded all I had to say?
Who taught my infant lips to pray,
And love God’s holy book and day.
And walk in Wisdom’s pleasant way?
And can I ever cease to be
Affectionate and kind to thee,
Who was so very kind to me?
Ah, no! the thought I cannot bear;
And if God please my life to spare,
I hope I shall reward thy care,
Who ran to help me when I fell,
And would some pretty story tell,
Or kiss the place to make it well?
When thou art feeble, old, and gray,
My healthy arm shall be thy stay,
And I will soothe thy pains away,
And when I see thee hang thy head,
‘Twill be my turn to watch thy bed.
And tears of sweet affection shed,
For could our Father in the skies
Look down with pleased or loving eyes,
If ever I could dare despise
This poem is in the public domain.
Illustrations by Walter Crane (1845 - 1915),
an English artist and children's book illustrator.