TWO MOTHERS

"Mary, Mary, look at him
So little and so very sweet,
Do you know how dark the road
Stretches before his feet?"

"Sister, I knew it long ago.
God said it would be so."
Mary, tell me, what will you do__
I am a mother, too."
"Sister, what more can I do than this:
To press his brow with a kiss?"

"Mary, Mary, surely you shrink
From the cup that you must drink?"
"Sister, my soul cries out, yet I
Must drink the dark cup dry."

"Mary, Mary, what will you say
When they come to take him away?"
"As greatly as I love my son:
God's holy will be done."

"But Mary, the cross, and the mocking men..
How will you bear it then?"
"Sister, sister, look in my face:
Only through God's grace."

"O Mary, the mothers of earth have need
To follow you indeed."
"Nay, sister, until life be done,
Follow my holy son."

                                                                                          ___Grace Noll Crowell


SLEEP, SLEEP, MINE HOLY ONE

And art thou come for saving, baby-browed
And speechless Being? art thou come for saving?
The palm that grows beside our door is bowed
By treadlings of the low wind from the south,
A restless shadow through the chamber waving,
Upon it's bough a bird sings in the sun.
But thou, with that close slumber on thy mouth,
Dost seem of wind and sun already weary.
Art come for saving, O my weary One?

Perchance this sleep that shutteth out the dreary
Earth-sounds and motions, opens on thy soul
High dreams on fire with God;
High songs that make the pathways where they roll
More bright than stars do theirs; and visions new
Of thine eternal nature's old abode.
Suffer this mother's kiss,
Best thing that earthly is,
To glide the music and the glory through,
Nor narrow in thy dream the broad upliftings
Of any seraph wing.
Thus, noiseless, thus! Sleep, sleep my dreaming One.

____Elizabeth Barrett Browning




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