• The Reading Mother

    Strickland Gillilan (1869-1954)

    I had a mother who read to me
    Sagas of pirates who scoured the sea,
    Cutlasses clenched in their yellow teeth,
    “Blackbirds” stowed in the hold beneath

    I had a Mother who read me lays
    Of ancient and gallant and golden days;
    Stories of Marmion and Ivanhoe,
    Which every boy has a right to know.

    I had a Mother who read me tales
    Of Celert the hound of the hills of Wales,
    True to his trust till his tragic death,
    Faithfulness blent with his final breath.

    I had a Mother who read me the things
    That wholesome life to the boy heart brings-
    Stories that stir with an upward touch,
    Oh, that each mother of boys were such.

    You may have tangible wealth untold;
    Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold.
    Richer than I you can never be —
    I had a Mother who read to me.