By Catharine Allan, Peterson’s Magazine, 1884
“Come back to us mother,” the little ones cried;
Come back to us, mother dear.”
And they flung themselves on the grave at her side:
“There’s nobody loves us here.”
“The stepmother beats us, and starves us for food;
Come back to us, mother dear.
Do you slumber so deep—oh! We’ll be so good—
So deep that you do not hear?”
The mother she came in the dead of the night,
She washed them, and combed their hair,
And gave them to eat of the wheaten bread white,
And dressed them in garments fair.
They climbed in her lap, and they sang at her feet,
They kissed her with laughter gay.
She sang them to sleep with a lullaby sweet,
Till cock-crow called her away.
And though ev’ry night they lie smiling in bed,
With tears on their lashes fair,
Think not they are sad—they are happy instead:
Their mother is with them there!