To My Children

When I am old and years have brought their gray,

Should my step falter and my tiring mind

Revert again to childhood's simple way,

I would not be from you enclosed behind

Windows with padlocked screens and a heavy door

That opens only to attendant's keys;

Where sweet old mothers in their grief outpour

Their wistful longing in pathetic pleas

For their beloved dear ones to return

And take them home. But let the cheerful glow

Of a homey fireside warm my heart. I yearn

To be near you and watch your children grow.

As now you need my love, my sheltering too,

When I am old I shall have need of you.