The last verse is often not given, but it completes the cycle of mother/child love.
My Mother Dear (The Son to his Mother)
There was a place in childhood
That I remember well,
And there a voice of sweetest tone
Bright fairy tales did tell,
And gentle words and fond embrace
Were given, with joy, to me,
When I was in that happy place
Upon my mother’s knee.
When fairy tales were ended,
“Good night,” she softly said,
And kissed and laid me down to sleep
Within my tiny bed;
And Holy words she taught me there –
Methinks I yet can see,
Her angel eyes, as close I knelt
Beside my mother’s knee.
In the sickness of my childhood,
The perils of my prime,
The sorrows of my riper years,
The cares of every time…
When doubt and danger weighed me down –
Then pleading, all for me,
It was a fervent prayer to Heaven
That bent my mother’s knee.
And can I this remember,
And e’er forget to prove
The glow of holy gratitude –
The fullness of my love?
When thou art feeble, mother,
Come rest thy arm on me.
And let thy cherished child
Support the aged mother’s knee.
Published in Odd Fellows’ Magazine of The Independent Order of Oddfellows Manchester Unity Friendly Society Limited.