Who sat and watched my infant head
When sleeping on my cradle bed,
And tears of sweet affection shed?
When pain and sickness made me cry,
Who gazed upon my heavy eye,
And wept for fear that I should die?
Who taught my infant lips to pray
And love God’s holy book and day,
And walk in wisdom’s pleasant way?
And can I ever cease to be
Affectionate and kind to thee,
Who wast so very kind to me,
Ah, no! the thought I cannot bear,
And if God please my life to spare
I hope I shall reward they care,
When thou art feeble, old and grey,
My healthy arm shall be thy stay,
And I will soothe thy pains away,
My Mother by Ann Taylor Summary and the Story Behind It
Few things resonate deeper than the bond between a mother and child. Ann Taylor’s poignant poem, “My Mother,” captures this essence with a simplicity that transcends time and culture. Let’s delve into the heart of the poem and explore the story behind its author.
The Cradle of Love:
The poem opens with a tender scene, a mother watching over her sleeping child. The image of “tears of sweet affection” sets the tone for a piece that celebrates the unwavering devotion of a mother’s love. Each subsequent verse builds upon this foundation, highlighting different facets of this love.
Through Thick and Thin:
Taylor beautifully captures the mother’s presence in times of both joy and sorrow. She is there to comfort and guide through childhood tears and anxieties, instilling faith and wisdom along the way. The question, “And can I ever cease to be / Affectionate and kind to thee,” echoes a universal sentiment: the profound debt of gratitude owed to a mother for her unconditional love.
A Promise of Reciprocity:
The final verse transcends the immediate mother-child relationship. It speaks to a universal truth – that love received deserves to be returned. The speaker vows to be a source of support and comfort for their mother in the twilight of her life, just as she was for them. This closing sentiment leaves a lasting impression, reminding us of the cyclical nature of love and the importance of cherishing the bonds that shape us.
About Ann Taylor:
Born in London in 1782, Ann Taylor was a prolific writer of children’s literature, alongside her sister Jane. Their poems and stories, often imbued with moral lessons and religious themes, were immensely popular in the 19th century and continue to be enjoyed today. “My Mother” is one of her most enduring works, a testament to her ability to capture the essence of human emotions with simple yet powerful language.
Beyond the Poem:
“My Mother” is more than just a poem; it’s a timeless reminder of the power and importance of maternal love. It resonates with anyone who has experienced the unwavering support and tenderness of a mother, prompting reflection and gratitude. Whether you share the poem with your own mother, a loved one, or simply keep it close to your heart, its message of love and devotion will undoubtedly leave a lasting impact.
This blog post is just a starting point. You can further explore the poem by analyzing its literary devices, comparing it to other works on motherhood, or even sharing your own personal reflections on the topic. Remember, the beauty of literature lies in its ability to spark conversations and connect us through shared experiences. So, let Ann Taylor’s poem be a catalyst for celebrating the mothers in our lives and the enduring power of love.