Frances Ellen Watkins Harper

(24 September 1825 – 22 February 1911 / Baltimore, Maryland)

Mother's Treasures - Poem by Frances Ellen Watkins Harper

Two little children sit by my side,
I call them Lily and Daffodil;
I gaze on them with a mother's pride,
One is Edna, the other is Will.

Both have eyes of starry light,
And laughing lips o'er teeth of pearl.
I would not change for a diadem
My noble boy and darling girl.

To-night my heart o'erflows with joy;
I hold them as a sacred trust;
I fain would hide them in my heart,
Safe from tarnish of moth and rust.

What should I ask for my dear boy?
The richest gifts of wealth or fame?
What for my girl? A loving heart
And a fair and a spotless name?

What for my boy? That he should stand
A pillar of strength to the state?
What for my girl? That she should be
The friend of the poor and desolate?

I do not ask they shall never tread
With weary feet the paths of pain.
I ask that in the darkest hour
They may faithful and true remain.

I only ask their lives may be
Pure as gems in the gates of pearl,
Lives to brighten and bless the world --
This I ask for my boy and girl.

I ask to clasp their hands again
'Mid the holy hosts of heaven,
Enraptured say: "I am here, oh! God,
"And the children Thou hast given."

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Read poems about / on: girl, children, trust, strength, pride, change, friend, mother, joy, heaven, pain, heart, light, world, god, night, child

Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003

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