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.

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