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A Mother’s Vision

From the Rock Island Argus, April 7, 1915. By Gertrude Hockridge.

Sitting alone in the firelight, with aged head bent low
Over some little garments that were worn in the long ago,
A woman, old and faded, was dreaming of other years
And the faces of absent loved ones she saw through a mist of tears.

All was silent; no echo of footfalls swift and gay;
The dancing feet of her children had wandered far away.
Busy and happy and thoughtless, they were scattered far and wide;
All grown to be men and women—save the little boy who died.

It was strange that of all the children, he should feel tonight so near.
His little grave had been covered by the snows of many a year;
Yet she fancied she saw him enter, that she saw him standing there,
His blue eyes clear and smiling, the light on his curling hair.

And a voice spoke from the silence, saying, “This for you I kept;
But my meaning you could not fathom when for your child you wept.
The living have left your hearthstone, but with you he shall abide
In the beauty of deathless childhood, your little boy who died.”

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