Susanna Strickland Moodie

Here you will find the Poem The Step Mother of poet Susanna Strickland Moodie

The Step Mother

Well I recall my Father's wife,
 The day he brought her home.
 His children looked for years of strife,
 And troubles sure to come --
 Ungraciously we welcomed her,
 A thing to scorn and blame;
 And swore we never would confer
 On her, a Mother's name

 I see her yet -- a girl in years,
 With eyes so blue and mild;
 She greeted us with smiles and tears,
 How sweetly too she smiled --
 She bent to kiss my sullen brow,
 With woman's gentle grace;
 And laid her tiny hand of snow
 On my averted face --

 "Henry -- is this your son? She said --
 "Dear boy -- he now is mine --
 What not one kiss? --" I shook my head,
 "I am no son of thine! --"
 She sighed -- and from her dimpled cheek
 The rosy colour fled;
 She turned away and did not speak,
 My thoughts were with the dead --

 There leaped from out my Father's eyes
 A jet of swarthy fire;
 That flashed on me in fierce surprise --
 I fled before his ire
 I heard her gentle voice entreat --
 "Forgiveness for her sake" --
 Which added swiftness to my feet,
 A sad and strange mistake --

 A year had scarcely rolled away
 When by that hated bride;
 I loved to linger half the day,
 In very joy and pride;
 Her voice was music to mine ear,
 So soft its accent fell;
 "Dear Mother now" -- and oh, how dear
 No words of mine can tell --

 She was so gentle, fair and kind,
 So pure in soul and free from art;
 That woman with her noble mind,
 Subdued my rebel heart --
 I just had learned to know her worth,
 My Father's second choice to bless;
 When God removed her from the earth,
 And plunged us all in deep distress --

 Hot fever smote with burning blight
 Stretchd on a restless bed of pain;
 I moaning lay from morn till night
 With aching limbs and throbbing brain --
 Four weary weeks beside my bed,
 She sat within a darkened room;
 Untiring held my aching head,
 Nor heeded silence -- cold and gloom --

 And when my courage quite gave way,
 And fainter grew my struggling breath;
 She taught my stricken soul to pray
 And calmly meet approaching death --
 "Fear not God's angel, sent by Him,
 The weary spirit to release;
 Before the mortal eyes grow dim,
 Floats down the white winged dove of peace" --

 There came a change -- but fingers small,
 No longer smoothed my matted hair;
 She sprang not to my feeble call,
 Nor helped to lift me to my chair --
 And I arose as from the dead,
 A life for her dear life was given;
 The angel who had watched my bed
 Had vanished into Heaven! --