James Whitcomb Riley

7 October 1849 - 22 July 1916 / Greenfield, Indiana

His Mother

DEAD! my wayward boy--_my own_--
Not _the Law's!_ but _mine_--the good
God's free gift to me alone,
Sanctified by motherhood.

'Bad,' you say: Well, who is not?
'Brutal'--'with a heart of stone'--
And 'red-handed.'--Ah! the hot
Blood upon your own!

I come not, with downward eyes,
To plead for him shamedly,--
God did not apologize
When He gave the boy to me.

Simply, I make ready now
For _His_ verdict.--_You_ prepare--
You have killed us both--and how
Will you face us There!
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