A Poem for Today: The Reading Mother

The Reading Mother

by 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 Gelert the hound of the hills of Wales,
True to his trust till his tragic death,
Faithfulness lent 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.


3 Thoughts.

  1. I’m loving the poems that you are lately posting. Trees, If, The Tiger, The Song & The Arrow, The Swing … I had read as part of my textbooks in my primary classes.
    I remembered a few more … The Solitary Reaper, Leisure, a cute poem called “New shoes New shoes!” (I know it’s contradictory to your philosophy, but I have very fond memories of school 🙂
    I had not come across this poem yet, I esp. loved it .

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