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.