Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Backwards, turn backward...

I read a post yesterday where someone was reminiscing about their childhood.  It  made me think of an old poem I loved.  It was called "Rock me to sleep" by Elizabeth (Akers) Allen.

Rock Me to Sleep

Backward, turn backward, O Time in your flight
Make me a child again just for tonight!
Mother, come back from the echoless shore,
Take me again to your heart as of yore;
Kiss from my forehead the furrows of care, 
Smooth the few silver threads out of my hair;
Over my slumbers your loving watch keep;
Rock me to sleep, mother, rock me to sleep!

I believe this poem was written by someone whose time had come to  pass from this world... and although the entire poem is poignant, the first stanza is what remained with me over the years. The rest of the poem follows:

Backward, flow backward, O tide of the years!
I am so weary of toil and of tears,
Toil without recompense, tears all in vain,
Take them, and give me my childhood again!
I have grown weary of dust and decay,
Weary of flinging my soul's wealth away;
Weary of sowing for others to reap;
Rock me to sleep, mother, rock me to sleep!

Tired of the hollow, the base, the untrue,
Mother, O mother, my heart calls for you!
Many a summer the grass has grown green,
Blossomed and faded, our faces between:
Yet with strong yearning and passionate pain,
Long I tonight for your presence again.
Come from the silence so long and so deep;
Rock me to sleep, mother, rock me to sleep!

Over my heart in the days that have flown,
No love like mother-love ever has shone;
No other worship abides and endures,
Faithful, unselfish, and patient like yours:
None like a mother can charm away pain
From the sick soul and the world-weary brain.
Slumber soft calms o'er my heavy lids creep;
Rock me to sleep, mother, rock me to sleep!

Come, let your brown hair, just lighted with gold,
Fall on your shoulders again as of old;
Let it drop over my forehead to-night,
Shading my faint eyes away from the light;
For with its sunny-edged shadows once more
Haply will throng the sweet visions of yore;
Lovingly, softly, its bright billows sweep;
Rock me to sleep, mother, rock me to sleep!

Mother, dear mother, the years have been long
Since I last heard your lullaby song:
Sing, then and unto my soul it shall seem
Womanhood's years have been only a dream.
Clasped to your heart in a loving embrace,
With your light lashes just sweeping my face,
Never hereafter to wake or to weep;
Rock me to sleep, mother, rock me to sleep!

This poem still brings tears to my eyes.  How many of us would love to have that feeling of love, peace, and protection returned if just for an instant as a child in our mother's arms... 


  1. That was a difficult poem for me to remember, too, Rian.
    Happy new year to you and your wonderful family--and kitties, too.

  2. That, indeed, is a beautiful and poignant poem, so appropriate for the end of an old year.

    A very happy new year to you and your entire family. May 2015 bring good health, joy, laughter, love and Light. And of course lots of treats for all the fur family! :-)

  3. I love that poem, and for just a moment I remembered being in my mother's arms. Than you. :-)

  4. We look to the future on this night, but also to the past. This was a lovely post.

  5. Yes, I enjoyed this poem as well, I have never read it before and it's rather moving.
    Happy New year to you and yours.


  6. Nice to know that other's enjoy this poem too. It's hard for me to read it and not tear up... must be old age getting to me. Does one get more sentimental with age? Or is it that we can no longer hide our emotions as well?


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