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Katharine Hinkson (1861-1931)

The Mother


              1I am the pillars of the house;
              2     The keystone of the arch am I.
              3Take me away, and roof and wall
              4     Would fall to ruin utterly.

              5I am the fire upon the hearth,
              6     I am the light of the good sun.
              7I am the heat that warms the earth,
              8     Which else were colder than a stone.

              9At me the children warm their hands;
            10     I am their light of love alive.
            11Without me cold the hearthstone stands,
            12     Nor could the precious children thrive.

            13I am the twist that holds together
            14     The children in its sacred ring,
            15Their knot of love, from whose close tether
            16     No lost child goes a-wandering.

            17I am the house from floor to roof.
            18     I deck the walls, the board I spread;
            19I spin the curtains, warp and woof,
            20     And shake the down to be their bed.

            21I am their wall against all danger,
            22     Their door against the wind and snow.
            23Thou Whom a woman laid in manger,
            24     Take me not till the children grow!


Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: Katharine Tynan, New Poems (London: Sidgwick and Jackson, 1911): 38-39. 9700.d.627 Cambridge University Library
First publication date: 1911
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: 2002
Recent editing: 1:2002/12/30

Form: quatrains
Rhyme: abab


Other poems by Katharine Hinkson