Because I feel that, in the Heavens above,
The angels, whispering to one another,
Can find, among their burning terms of love,
None so devotional as that of “Mother,”
Therefore by that dear name I long have called you—
You who are more than mother unto me,
And fill my heart of hearts, where Death installed you
In setting my Virginia’s spirit free.
My mother—my own mother, who died early,
Was but the mother of myself; but you
Are mother to the one I loved so dearly,
And thus are dearer than the mother I knew
By that infinity with which my wife
Was dearer to my soul than its soul-life.
Published in Flag of Our Union, July 7, 1849
The text is taken from Wikisource.
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The featured image is “Mother and Child” (c. 1904) by Gari Melchers. It is in the public domain and appears here courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.