My Son (Poem)


My Son

Here is his little cambric frock
That I laid by in lavender so sweet,
And here his tiny shoe and sock
I made with loving care for his dear feet.

I fold the frock across my breast
And in imagination, ah, my sweet,
Once more I hush my babe to rest
And once again I warm those little feet.

Where do those strong young feet now stand?
In flooded trench half numb to cold or pain,
Or marching through the desert sand
To some dread place that they may never gain.

God guide him and his men to-day!
Though death may lurk in any tree or hill,
His brave young spirit is their stay,
Trusting in that they'll follow where he will.

They love him for his tender heart
When poverty or sorrow asks his aid,
But he must see each do his part --
Of cowardice alone is he afraid.

I ask no honours on the field,
That other men have won as brave as he --
I only pray that God may shield
My son, and bring him safely back to me.

by Ada Tyrrell

Ada Tyrrell (1854-1955), the witty, intelligent and gregarious Dublin society hostess invited politicians, artists and literati to her Dublin salon and was a life-long friend of George Bernard Shaw. Her husband was the distinguished Trinity College Dublin classic scholar and Regius Professor of Greek, Robert Yelverton Tyrell. Her poem became popular with the public when it was published in 1917.