GIVE me my old seat, mother,
With my head upon thy knee;
I've passed through many a changing scene,
Since thus I sat by thee.
Oh! let me look into thine eyes;
Their meek, soft, loving light
Falls like a gleam of holiness,
Upon my heart, to-night.
I've not been long away, mother;
Few suns have risen and set,
Since last the tear-drop on thy cheek,
My lips in kisses met.
'Tis but a little time, I know,
But very long it seems;
Though every night I came to thee,
Dear mother, in my dreams.
The world has kindly dealt, mother,
By the child thou lov'st so well;
The prayers have circled round her path;
And 'twas their holy spell
Which made that path so dearly bright;
Which strewed the roses there;
Which gave the light, and cast the balm
On every breath of air.
I bear a happy heart, mother;
A happier never beat;
And, even now, new buds of hope
Are bursting at my feet.
Oh! mother! life may be a dream;
But if such dreams are given,
While at the portals thus we stand,
What are the truths of Heaven?
I bear a happy heart, mother!
Yet, when fond eyes I see,
And hear soft tones and winning words,
I ever think of thee.
And then, the tears my spirit weeps
Unbidden fill my eye;
And, like a houseless dove, I long
Unto thy breast to fly.
Then I am very sad, mother,
I'm very sad and lone:
O! there's no heart whose inmost fold
Opes to me like thine own!
Though sunny smiles wreath blooming lips,
While love-tones meet my ear;
My mother, one fond glance of thine
Were thousand times more dear.
Then with a closer clasp, mother,
Now hold me to thy heart:
I'll feel it beating 'gainst my own,
Once more before we part.
And mother, to this love-lit spot,
When I am far away,
Come oft—too oft thou canst not come!
And for thy darling pray.