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The Earth-Mother - Poem by Frank Dalby Davison

COMETH a voice:—‘My children, hear;
From the crowded street and the close-packed mart
I call you back with my message clear,
Back to my lap and my loving heart.
Long have ye left me, journeying on
By range and river and grassy plain,
To the teeming towns where the rest have gone—
Come back, come back to my arms again.

‘So shall ye lose the foolish needs
That gnaw your souls; and my touch shall serve
To heal the ills that the city breeds,
The pallid cheek and the fretted nerve.
Treading the turf that ye once loved well,
Instead of the stones of the city’s street,
Ye shall hear nor din nor drunken yell,
But the wind that croons in the ripening wheat.

‘Yonder, beneath the smoke-smeared sky,
A city of half a million souls
That struggle and chaffer and strive and cry
By a sullied river that seaward rolls.
But here, blue range and full-filled creek,
And the soil made glad by the welcome rain
Waiting the plough. If peace ye seek,
Come back, come back to my arms again.

‘I that am old have seen long since
Ruin of palaces made with hands
For the soldier-king and the priest and prince
Whose cities crumble in desert sands.
But still the furrow in many a clime
Yields softly under the ploughman’s feet;
Still there is seeding and harvest time,
And the wind still croons in the ripening wheat.

‘Where is Persepolis? Ask the Wind
That once the tresses of Thais kissed.
A stone or two you may haply find
Where Night and the Desert keep their tryst.
But the broken goblet is cast away,
And to seek for the lights that are lost is vain.
The city passes; the green fields stay—
Come back, come back to my arms again.

‘The works of man are but little worth;
For a time they stand, for a space endure;
But turn once more to your mother—Earth,
My gifts are gracious, my works are sure.
Green shoot of herbage for growing herd,
And blossoming promise of fruitage sweet,
These shall not fail, if ye heed my word,
Nor the wind that croons in the ripening wheat.

‘Would ye fashion a nation, whole and true,
Goodly-proportioned, sound at core?
Then this, my sons, ye must surely do—
Give city less, and country more.
Would ye rear a race to hold this land
From foemen steering across the main?
Then, children, listen and understand—
Come back, come back to my arms again.

‘Your coastwise cities are passing fair—
Jetty and warehouse and banking-hall,
Tower and dome and statued square—
But who is to guard when the blow shall fall?
The men who can shoot and ride are found
Not where the clerks and the shopmen meet,
But out, where the reaper hears the sound
Of the wind that croons in the ripening wheat.

‘Ye know, who have long since left the loam
For a city job in some crowded works,
That sorrow abides in the straitened home,
And Death in the stifling factory lurks.
And some, who are out of a job, must sleep
On a city bench in the driving rain.
Of happier days are ye dreaming deep?
Come back, come back to my arms again.

‘There in the city, by jungle law,
Each fights for his meat till set of sun.
By the deadliest fang and the sharpest claw
The right to the largest share is won.
But here there is neither strife nor guile,
The brazen robber nor smooth-tongued cheat.
Your gold is safe—where the harvests smile,
And the wind still croons in the ripening wheat.

‘I mind me once, in a sunlit land,
Lancer, Hussar, and fierce Uhlan
Came galloping in on every hand,
And poppied cornfields over-ran.
And many a sabre was stoutly plied,
And many a hero kissed the plain,
And many a hero’s mother cried,
“Come back, come back to my arms again!”

‘But when no longer the trumpets pealed,
And the stricken land was at rest once more,
They found a peasant who sowed his field
Nor knew that France had been at war.
E’en so, instead of the strife and pain
I give you peace, with its blessing sweet.
Come back, come back to my arms again,
For the wind still croons in the ripening wheat.’


Comments about The Earth-Mother by Frank Dalby Davison

  • Danny Draper 5/3/2014 11:01:00 PM

    A friend he would have found in Blake. Reply

    1 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Michelle Claus 4/1/2014 3:22:00 PM

    Well developed poem! It's such a pleasure sometimes to read formal / structured poetry with its reliable cadence and lovely language. Returning to nature - away from the metropolitan and/or suburban life - isn't always as ideal as the poet suggests, but it definitely has its benefits. Reply

    2 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Lorraine Margueritte Gasrel Black 4/1/2014 10:59:00 AM

    Incredible poetry...What a scope of vision.... Reply

    2 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Lorraine Margueritte Gasrel Black 4/1/2014 10:59:00 AM

    Incredible poetry...What a scope of vision.... Reply

    2 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Babatunde Aremu 4/1/2014 8:40:00 AM

    Very nice poem. Keep writing Reply

    2 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Karen Sinclair 4/1/2014 12:44:00 AM

    This is beautiful. As a mother pleading her straying children back under her wing. Love it. Reply

    2 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
Mother Poems
  1. 51. The Earth-Mother
    Frank Dalby Davison
  2. 52. The Slave Mother
    Frances Ellen Watkins Harper
  3. 53. Old Mother Laidinwool
    Rudyard Kipling
  4. 54. ~mother Dear, Oh Mother Dear
    Adeline Foster
  5. 55. 2nd Mother
    Otteri Selvakumar
  6. 56. The Now Jerusalem, Song Of Mary The Moth..
    Anonymous
  7. 57. Mother Mind
    Julia Ward Howe
  8. 58. The Song Of The Old Mother
    William Butler Yeats
  9. 59. My Gift From Mother Nature On Mothers Day
    Mary Nagy
  10. 60. Prosopopoia: Or Mother Hubbard's Tale
    Edmund Spenser
  11. 61. Mother And Sphinx
    Eugene Field
  12. 62. Someone's Mother
    Robert William Service
  13. 63. The Mother-Lodge
    Rudyard Kipling
  14. 64. Spartan Mother
    Robert William Service
  15. 65. Mother Earth And Father Time Are Angry
    Mary Nagy
  16. 66. The Sailor's Mother
    William Wordsworth
  17. 67. The Mother Of God
    William Butler Yeats
  18. 68. I Like My Mother
    ART PAUL SCHLOSSER
  19. 69. The Ghetto: A Mother
    Anna Swirszczynska
  20. 70. My Mother
    Bhartendu Second
  21. 71. Mother Bombie
    John Lyly
  22. 72. A Grieving Mother
    Joseph T. Renaldi
  23. 73. Sonnet Xvii: His Mother Dear Cupid
    Sir Philip Sidney
  24. 74. A Mother Doesn'T Know...
    Ashley Olson
  25. 75. The Mother
    Nettie Palmer
  26. 76. Mother Of Mine
    Betty Halverson
  27. 77. Nature - Mother Of All Creations......
    Ravi Sathasivam
  28. 78. Widow And Very Special Mother
    Frank V. Gardner
  29. 79. Nature 11 - Mother Is A Mother
    Dr. Geeta Radhakrishna Menon
  30. 80. Battle Of Will & Exhaustion, Mother & Ch..
    Jenny Factor
  31. 81. Mother! Oh Mother
    abhimanyu kumar.s
  32. 82. A Young Mother Waits Lonely
    Gary Bryson
  33. 83. 0178 Mother And Son
    Michael Shepherd
  34. 84. My Mother Would Be A Falconress
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  35. 85. My Mother, My Dear Mother
    Victor Sapkota
  36. 86. Mother, My Mother
    Stuart David Smith BSc.
  37. 87. Mother(Mother' Day 2020)
    Prabir Gayen
  38. 88. Mary, Mother Of Jesus
    Denis Martindale
  39. 89. The Step Mother
    Susanna Strickland Moodie
  40. 90. For My Mother - Mother's Day 2006 (Engli..
    Herbert Nehrlich
  41. 91. My Mother Is An Illegal Alien With A Bod..
    Nadalia Bagratuni
  42. 92. Mother O Mother / महतारी ओ महतारी (Hindi)
    Rajnish Manga
  43. 93. A Rose For My Mother
    Mary Helen Oakley
  44. 94. A Mother Child
    Dustin Bennefield
  45. 95. Nyx (Goddess Of Night, Mother Of Death, ..
    Dementia DeSalvo
  46. 96. To Mother
    Max Reif
  47. 97. Mother-Daughter Love
    Noline A.V. Johnson
  48. 98. Mother, You Are Only Mother
    dr. ram sharma
  49. 99. My Baby's Mother
    Elizabeth Russell
  50. 100. Our Beloved Mother
    Frederick Kambemba Yamusangie

New Mother Poems

  1. Mother, Nayan Das
  2. Earthanthem, Indira Renganathan
  3. Buried Soul, Arun Maji
  4. Mother(Mother' Day 2020), Prabir Gayen
  5. M. O. T. H. E. R, Jullz Poetry
  6. Mother And Mother Nature, Upendra Majhi
  7. Asthi-Kalasha (A Series Of Poems), Bijay Kant Dubey
  8. Respect Your Mother, Dawn Lochridge
  9. Asthi-Kalasha (A Poem), Bijay Kant Dubey
  10. Mother Told Me, Emmanuel Arunee Mwanza

Mother Poems

  1. Old Mother Laidinwool

    Old Mother Laidinwool had nigh twelve months been dead. She heard the hops was doing well, an' so popped up her head For said she: "The lads I've picked with when I was young and fair, They're bound to be at hopping and I'm bound to meet 'em there!" Let me up and go Back to the work I know, Lord! Back to the work I know, Lord! For it is dark where I lie down, My Lord! An' it's dark where I lie down! Old Mother Laidinwool, she give her bones a shake, An' trotted down the churchyard-path as fast as she could make. She met the Parson walking, but she says to him, says she: -- "Oh, don't let no one trouble for a poor old ghost like me!" 'Twas all a warm September an' the hops had flourished grand. She saw the folks get into 'em with stockin's on their hands-- An' none of 'em was foreigners but all which she had known, And old Mother Laidinwool she blessed 'em every one. She saw her daughters picking an' their children them-beside, An' she mowed among the babies an' she stilled 'em when they cried. She saw their clothes was bought, not begged, an' they was clean an' fat, An' old Mother Laidinwool she thanked the Lord for that. Old Mother Laidinwool she waited on all day Until it come too dark to see an' people went away-- Until it was too dark to see an' lights began to show, An' old Mother Laidinwool she hadn't where to go. Old Mother Laidinwool she give her bones a shake An 'trotted back to churchyard-mould as fast as she could make. She went where she was bidden to an' there laid down her ghost, . . . An' the Lord have mercy on you in the Day you need it most! Let me in again, Out of the wet an' rain, Lord! Out of the wet an' rain, Lord! For it's best as You shall say, My Lord! An' it's best as You shall say!

  2. The Slave Mother

    Heard you that shriek? It rose So wildly on the air, It seemed as if a burden'd heart Was breaking in despair. Saw you those hands so sadly clasped -- The bowed and feeble hand -- The shuddering of that fragile form -- That look of grief and dread? Saw you the sad, imploring eye? Its every glance was pain, As if a storm of agony Were sweeping through the brain. She is a mother, pale with fear, Her boy clings to her side, And in her kirtle vainly tries His trembling form to hide. He is not hers, although she bore For him a mother's pains; He is not hers, although her blood Is coursing through his veins! He is not hers, for cruel hands May rudely tear apart The only wreath of household love That binds her breaking heart. His love has been a joyous light That o'er her pathway smiled, A fountain gushing ever new, Amid life's desert wild. His lightest word has been a tone Of music round her heart, Their lives a streamlet blent in one -- Oh, Father! must they part? They tear him from her circling arms, Her last and fond embrace. Oh! never more may her sad eyes Gaze on his mournful face. No marvel, then, these bitter shrieks Disturb the listening air; She is a mother, and her heart Is breaking in despair.

  3. 2nd Mother

    Father and Mother love too Making Your's body... God give to is love For Your's sole... Father and brother's Sister's with friend's Give to is love's For Your's out side of World thing's...! Body of love given Mother for Your's Child wood For feeding...! After given The body of love your's wife safley... So, wife is a 2nd mother...! Yes its true; For the Family Man's life...!

  4. ~mother Dear, Oh Mother Dear

    ~ Mother Dear, O Mother Dear Mother dear, oh Mother dear, were you ever young? How felt you on the day when love had just begun? Did tulips drip from every branch and joy obscure the sun? Did secret smiles once mold your hopes Where lines of care and dread are ropes That tell of bitter loss instead, The smiles forgotten now and fled? Like me, were you once mesmerized Of blissfilled future, sunny skies, Then saw the storm clouds gather round, Felt the darkness, heard the sound Of lighting charring all your dreams, Each betrayal worse than last it seems? Through heavy days and heavy thoughts, Each step mechanically has brought You to this day where now you live, Those dreams forgotten, for it is That dreams are fairy-castles built And meant to evaporate and wilt. Then, as you held each fragile child, Did ghosts of dreams bring back a smile? Forgotten dreams, once more reborn, To die again before the dawn- Unmourned, unnoticed, as time moved on, Interred within your heart's sad song? Mother dear, oh Mother dear, were we ever young?