Ah mother! for thy children bold,
But doubtful of thy quest,
Thou begg'st a boon ere it be told,
Avoiding wisdom's test.
Though love is strong to bring thee nigh,
Ambition makes thee doubt;
Ambition dulls the prophet-eye;
It casts the unseen out.
Not that in thousands he be one,
Uplift in lonely state--
Seek great things, mother, for thy son,
Because the things are great.
For ill to thee thy prayers avail,
If granted to thy will;
Ill which thy ignorance would hail,
Or good thou countedst ill.
Them thou wouldst see in purple pride,
Worshipped on every hand;
Their honours mighty but to hide
The evil of the land.
Or wouldst thou thank for granted quest,
Counting thy prayer well heard,
If of the three on Calvary's crest
They shared the first and third?
Let them, O mother, safety win;
They are not safe with thee;
Thy love would shut their glory in;
His love would set it free.
God keeps his thrones for men of strength,
Men that are fit to rule;
Who, in obedience ripe at length,
Have passed through all his school.
Yet higher than thy love can dare,
His love thy sons would set:
They who his cup and baptism share
May share his kingdom yet.