The Mother and Her Dying Boy

My mother, my mother, O let me depart!
Your tears and your pleadings are swords to my heart.

My mother, my mother, O let me depart!
Your tears and your pleadings are swords to my heart.
I hear gentle voices, that chide my delay;
I see lovely visions, that woo me away.
My prison is broken, my trials are o’er!
O mother, my mother, detain me no more!

And will you then leave us, my brightest, my best?
And will you run nestling no more to my breast?
The summer is coming to sky and to bower;
The tree that you planted will soon be in flower:
You loved the soft season of song and of bloom;
O, shall it return, and find you in the tomb?

Yes, mother, I loved in the sunshine to play,
And talk with the birds and the blossoms all dayk,
But sweeter the songs of the spirits on high,
And brighter the glories round God in the sky:
I see them!  I hear them!  they pull at my heart!
My mother, my mother, O let me depart!

O do not desert us!  Our hearts will be drear,
Our home will be lonely, when you are not here.
Your brother will sigh ‘mid his playthings, and say
I wonder dear WIllie so long can delay.
That foot like the wildwind, that glance like a star
O what will this world be, when they are afar?

This world, dearest mother!  O live not for this;
No, press on with me to the fulness of bliss!
And, trust me, whatever bright fields I may roam,
My heart will not wander from you and from home.
Believe me still near you on pinions of love;
Expect me to hail you when soaring above.

Well, – go, my beloved!  The conflict is o’er:
My pleas are all selfish; I urge them no more.
Why chain your bright spirit down here to the clod,
So thirsting for freedom, so ripe for its God?
Farewell, then!  farewell, till we meet at the Throne,
Where love fears no partings, and tears are unknown!

O glory!  O glory!  what music!  what light!
What wonders break in on my heart, on my sight!
I come, blessed spirits!  I hear you from high.
O frail, faithless nature, can this be to die?
So near!  what, so near to my Saviour and King?
O help me, ye angels, His glories to sing!

Henry Francis Lyte


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