Friday, January 9, 2015

Rock Me to Sleep, Mother

This morning in a dream my mother visited me.  I knew when I saw her that she had already passed to the other side of the veil.  I remember embracing her and feeling the comfort that only my mother can give.  I did not want that hug to end.  I told her how much I loved her.  Her presence seemed so real to me, I still feel many hours later, that her visit actually happened.  For hours after I awakened, I could still feel the peace her presence had brought me.  It has been over three years since I said "good-bye" to her.  I realize that I have not lost my mother at all.  She is still aware of me.  She is still my mother.  It reminded me of a poem I like.  This poem has been a favorite of mine for many years. All but the second and third stanzas express how I feel.

Rock Me to Sleep
by Elizabeth Ackers Allen

BACKWARD, turn backward, O Time, in your flight,
Make me a child again just for to-night!
Mother, come back from the echoless shore,
Take me again to your heart as of yore;
Kiss from my forehead the furrows of care,         5
Smooth the few silver threads out of my hair;
Over my slumbers your loving watch keep;—
Rock me to sleep, mother,—rock me to sleep!
Backward, flow backward, O tide of the years!
I am so weary of toil and of tears,—  10
Toil without recompense, tears all in vain,—
Take them, and give me my childhood again!
I have grown weary of dust and decay,—
Weary of flinging my soul-wealth away;
Weary of sowing for others to reap;—  15
Rock me to sleep, mother,—rock me to sleep!
Tired of the hollow, the base, the untrue,
Mother, O mother, my heart calls for you!
Many a summer the grass has grown green,
Blossomed and faded, our faces between:  20
Yet, with strong yearning and passionate pain,
Long I to-night for your presence again.
Come from the silence so long and so deep;—
Rock me to sleep, mother,—rock me to sleep!
Over my heart, in the days that are flown,  25
No love like mother-love ever has shone;
No other worship abides and endures,—
Faithful, unselfish, and patient like yours:
None like a mother can charm away pain
From the sick soul and the world-weary brain.  30
Slumber's soft calms o'er my heavy lids creep;—
Rock me to sleep, mother,—rock me to sleep!
Come, let your brown hair, just lighted with gold,
Fall on your shoulders again as of old;
Let it drop over my forehead to-night,  35
Shading my faint eyes away from the light;
For with its sunny-edged shadows once more
Haply will throng the sweet visions of yore;
Lovingly, softly, its bright billows sweep;—
Rock me to sleep, mother,—rock me to sleep!  40
Mother, dear mother, the years have been long
Since I last listened your lullaby song:
Sing, then, and unto my soul it shall seem
Womanhood's years have been only a dream.
Clasped to your heart in a loving embrace,  45
With your light lashes just sweeping my face,
Never hereafter to wake or to weep;—
Rock me to sleep, mother,—rock me to sleep!