Page:Letters to Mothers (1839).djvu/63

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with such pride. But she dismissed the reproachful thought. "It was the way with sailors."

Amid all these years of neglect and cruelty, the mother's love lived on. When Hope refused it nourishment, it asked food of Memory. It was satisfied with the crumbs from a table which must never be spread again. Memory brought the broken bread which she had gathered into her basket, when the feast of innocence was over, and Love received it as a mendicant, and fed upon it and gave thanks. She fed upon the cradle-smile, upon the first caress of infancy, upon the loving years of childhood, when putting his cheek to hers, he slumbered the live-long night, or when teaching him to walk, he tottered with outstretched arms to her bosom, as a new-fledg'd bird to its nest.

But Religion found this lonely widow, and communed with her at deep midnight, while the storm was raging without. It told her of a "name better than of sons or of daughters," and she was comforted. It bade her resign herself to the will of her Father in Heaven, and she found peace. [54]

It was a cold evening in winter, and the snow lay deep upon the earth. The widow sat alone by her little fire-side. The marks of early age had settled upon her. There was meekness on her brow, and in her hand a book from whence that meekness came.