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Songs That Every Child Should Know 73
Backward, flow backward, oh tide of the years! I am so weary of toil and of tears, 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, — Rock me to sleep, mother, rock me to sleep.
Tired of the hollow, the base, the untrue, Mother, oh, mother, my heart calls for you; Many a summer the grass has grown green, Blossomed and faded, our faces between; 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 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; 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, Shading my faint eyes away from the light;