“Mother’s Day” by Darius M. Ratcliff, 1943

Writings and Letters of Darius Mitteer Ratcliff


MOTHERS DAY

 

I.

Mother with the golden hair,

Mother still young and fair;

Gazing at your baby dear,

Heaven seems to you most near.

God who made the glowing flowers,

God who made the woodland bowers,

God who is so wise and good,

Gave the gift called motherhood.

Lovely are the birds of flight,

Glorious are the stars of night:

Far more beautiful than they,

Is this gift for mortals’ day.

Mother, count your blessings, try;

Blessings money could not buy:

Children romping with their toys,

Mothers’ love, and mothers’ joys.

Motherhood has brought to you

Blessings for your whole life through;

Motherhood has made you mother, –

You’d not change for any other.

II.

Mother, slow sweet years will pass,

Baby will become a lass;

You must meet the mother’s test;

Motherhood should have your best.

You can take the selfish road,

Shun the mother’s heavy load:

Motherhood…

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“The Mother’s Meditations” by Darius M. Ratcliff

Writings and Letters of Darius Mitteer Ratcliff

Madonna with the Bouquet of Lilies”

 

THE MOTHER”S MEDITATIONS

“Father we thank thee for this food:”

In childish voices low and sweet,

With heads low bowed and folded hands,

Together Allen and Sis repeat.

And now another tiny one

Has come our little home to share:

I thank God for these children dear

Now place within my earthly care.

Allen and Sis repeat their thanks

For our supply of daily food;

Shall I not lift my voice with theirs

And thank Thee for these children good?

And must I guide these little feet?

And must I show to them the way?

I’ll need, O Christ, thy help in this:

Teach me, O Lord, teach me to pray.

I want to be a child myself,

A child of God while here on earth:

I come to thee just as I am;

Grant me, O Lord, the second…

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“Home” by Darius M. Ratcliff, October 10, 1944

Home of Charles Benton and Louise Mitteer Ratcliff, abt. 1910
Hurleyville, Sullivan County, New York

HOME

Dearest place of all the earth,

Place of childhood’s carefree mirth,

Place of father’s noble face,

Place of mother’s loving grace,

Place of brothers, sisters, too;

Loved one always, ever true.

All through life my heart returns,

For the old days often yearns;

But they served their purpose then,

Nor do they return again.

Still their riches I enjoy;

Nothing can their good destroy.

Many years have passed away

Since my home abiding day;

But that home is still the place

Where I find a loving grace;

And my heart is always there:

There are folks who really care.

When that home has passed away,

Still the light of its glad day

Linger will within my heart

Forming of my life a part.

Dreams will come with magic wings,

Bring again those blessed things.

God who gives me my glad home

While on earth a while I roam

Has a better home by far

Where saved in Jesus are.

That’s the home does never fade,

That’s the home for which we’re made.

That’s the home of grandest love,

Home of Christlike saints above.

That’s the home where come no tears,

Never partings, never fears.

That’s the home of peace and joy,

That’s the home nought can destroy.

In that home we’ll be revealed,

We who here by Christ are sealed.

Glory like the Christ’s we’ll share,

And His image always bear.

On that home I’ve set my heart,

Chosen thus the better part.

As a foretaste of that home,

Long before to it we come,

Stands the church of Christ on earth,

Entered by a second birth:

Where we’re loved and learn to love,

With a love like that above.

Boys of ours need homes out there.

Let them know you always care.

Help our church to make them feel

Our concern for them is real.

Point them to the home above;

Tell them of eternal love.

 

Photo above: From the personal collection of B.J. Johanningmeier

“Mother’s Day” by Darius M. Ratcliff, 1943


MOTHERS DAY

 

I.

Mother with the golden hair,

Mother still young and fair;

Gazing at your baby dear,

Heaven seems to you most near.

God who made the glowing flowers,

God who made the woodland bowers,

God who is so wise and good,

Gave the gift called motherhood.

Lovely are the birds of flight,

Glorious are the stars of night:

Far more beautiful than they,

Is this gift for mortals’ day.

Mother, count your blessings, try;

Blessings money could not buy:

Children romping with their toys,

Mothers’ love, and mothers’ joys.

Motherhood has brought to you

Blessings for your whole life through;

Motherhood has made you mother, –

You’d not change for any other.

II.

Mother, slow sweet years will pass,

Baby will become a lass;

You must meet the mother’s test;

Motherhood should have your best.

You can take the selfish road,

Shun the mother’s heavy load:

Motherhood can have your worst;

You can take the way accursed.

You will need the Savior’s grace,

You should turn to Christ your face:

For you must always true,

God and man depend on you.

You may feel a cruel cross,

You may suffer bitter loss:

You must rally from each blow,

You must still toward victory go.

You must keep the goal in sight;

Turn not from it left or right:

You for Christ and heaven build;

Till your last heart beat is stilled.


III.

You must go the long, long way,

Golden hair will turn to gray:

Wrinkles will possess the face

Now so fair with youthful grace.

You may then be left to weep

For the child you couldn’t keep:

Death sometimes the fairest takes,

Of our love as cross then makes.

You a bitter cup may drink,

Sadder than you now dare think:

Feet in sin may choose to stray,

Leaving you for years to pray.

You may reap glad earthly joys,

See your loved one in good employs:

Never know the anxious part

Never know a broken heart.

God has made a perfect plan,

Far transcending our mind’s span:

Serve with Christ your journey through

Glorious things are waiting you.

You may fail to understand

Till you reach the heavenly strand:

But as sure as God is good,

Joys await true motherhood.

Image above:

Mary and baby Jesus Christ, ‘La vierge aux raisins’ by Pierre Mignard (1640). Pierre Mignard (November 7, 1612 to May 30, 1695), also called ‘Le Romain’ to distinguish him from his brother Nicolas and his nephew Pierre II, was a French painter, born at Troyes.

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