The Filial Vow
Why heaves my mother oft the deep drawn sigh ?
Why starts the big tear glistening in her eye ?
Why oft retire to hide her bursting grief?
Why seeks she not, nor seems to wish, relief?
Tis for my Father, mould'ring with the dead,
My Brother, in bold manhood lowly laid,
And for the pains which age is doom'd to bear,
She heaves the deep drawn sigh, and drops the silent tear.
Yes, partly these her gloomy thoughts employ ;
But mostly this o'erclouds her ev'ry joy,—
She grieves to think she may be burthensome,
Now feeble, old, and tottering to the tomb.
Oh, hear me, Heav'n, and record my Vow,
Its non-performance let thy wrath pursue !
I swear—Of what Thy providence may give,
My Mother shall her due maintenance have.
Twas hers to guide me thro Life's early day,
To point out Virtue's path, and lead the way ;
Now, while her pow'rs in frigid langour sleep,
Tis mine to hand her down Life's rugged steep,
With all her little weaknesses to bear,
Attentive, kind, to sooth her ev'ry care.—
Tis Nature bids, and truest pleasure flows
From lessening an aged parent's woes.