To a Child

Amy, dear child, of all thy friends
Prize first and best thy mother;
Her love for thee would still live on
Though changed were every other.
Thy youthful mind not now can judge
Its depth, and worth, and beauty;
Life’s lessons and life’s years alone
Can teach thy debt and duty.

Then follow where her counsels lead
True mothers ne’ er guide wrongly
Gather her teachings to thy heart,
And therein bind them strongly.
And let thy father’s memory,
With hers, light thine ambition,
To fill in like integrity
Life’s every worthy mission.

The friendships that we prize to-day
Are but as beacons, leading
To sweeter years and holier love,
If we God’s words are heeding.
Shouldst thou e’er search in memory’s hour
Earth’s truest friends no others
Thy lone heart may be sure of these:
Thy father’s and thy mother’s.

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