In many varied forms the gifts appear,
Of love serenely precious and divine,
All are most splendid, but to me more dear
Is thy fair love for me, oh Mother mine.
No lover can bear sacrifice like thee.
No matter how intensely he may love,
There is no holier form of victory
Than that which daily, Love in thee dost prove.
Thou givest all, expecting no return—
The lover loves but other love to gain,
His lasts while baser earthly passions burn,
But thine is born in purity and pain.
Thy love survives all earthly stress and strain.
It fills my life each day with happiness,
It lives unspoiled by things that mar and stain.
And sweeter grows in hours of bitterness.
And when I stumbled and the world in scorn,
By mocking drove me farther into sin,
Thy dear, dear love with cruel anguish torn,
Raised me, and taught me victory to win.
Who shall reward a love so strong as thine—
Love which endures in spite of sin and shame,
Inspiring me with thought supremely tine,
Enfolding me in holy quenchless flame?
This love so strong to me all freely given,
Awakens yearning for the lite divine,
And brings sweet foretaste of the joy of Heaven,
In all this hellish strife, oh Mother mine.
And I shall love thee through the darkest hour,
As well as through the hours of joyous life,
And love shall keep me by its holy power,
In purity through all the weary strife.
Then when I see thee in the life Immortal,
This is the wondrous truth we each shall know,
That Love transcends the gloom of Death’s dark portal,
And lives in Heaven, far sweeter still to grow.