Treasure Island

Robert William Service

(16 January 1874 - 11 September 1958 / Preston)

Someone's Mother


Someone's Mother trails the street
Wrapt in rotted rags;
Broken slippers on her feet
Drearily she drags;
Drifting in the bitter night,
Gnawing gutter bread,
With a face of tallow white,
Listless as the dead.

Someone's Mother in the dim
Of the grey church wall
Hears within a Christmas hymn,
One she can recall
From the h so long ago,
When divinely far,
in the holy alter glow
She would kneel in prayer.

Someone's Mother, huddled there,
Had so sweet a dream;
Seemed the sky was Heaven's stair,
Golden and agleam,
Robed in gown Communion bright,
Singingly she trod
Up and up the stair of light,
And thee was waiting - God.

Someone's Mother cowers down
By the old church wall;
Soft above the sleeping town
Snow begins to fall;
Now her rags are lily fair,
but unproud is she:
Someone's Mother is not there . . .
Lo! she climbs the starry stair
Only angels see.

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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