I hear a deep voice through uneasy dreaming,
A deep, soft, tender, soul-beguiling voice;
A lulling voice that bids the dreams remain,
That calms my restlessness and dulls my pain,
That thrills and fills and holds me till in seeming
There is no other sound on earth—no choice.
"Home!" says the deep voice, "Home!" and softly singing
Brings me a sense of safety unsurpassed;
So old! so old! The piles above the wave—
The shelter of the stone-blocked, shadowy cave—
Security of sun-kissed treetops swinging—
Safety and Home at last!
"Home" says the sweet voice, and warm Comfort rises,
Holding my soul with velvet-fingered hands;
Comfort of leafy lair and lapping fur,
Soft couches, cushions, curtains, and the stir
Of easy pleasures that the body prizes,
Of soft, swift feet to serve the least commands.
I shrink—half rise—and then it murmurs "Duty!"
Again the past rolls out—a scroll unfurled;
Allegiance and long labor due my lord—
Allegiance in an idleness abhorred—
I am the squaw—the slave—the harem beauty—
I serve and serve, the handmaid of the world.
My soul rebels—but hark! a new note thrilling,
Deep, deep, past finding—I protest no more;
The voice says "Love!" and all those ages dim
Stand glorified and justified in him;
I bow—I kneel—the woman soul is willing—
"Love is the law. Be still! Obey! Adore!"
And then—ah, then! The deep voice murmurs "Mother!"
And all life answers from the primal sea;
A mingling of all lullabies; a peace
That asks no understanding; the release
Of nature's holiest power—who seeks another?
Home? Home is Mother—Mother, Home—to me.
"Home!" says the deep voice; "Home and Easy Pleasure!
Safety and Comfort, Laws of Life well kept!
Love!" and my heart rose thrilling at the word;
"Mother!" it nestled down and never stirred;
"Duty and Peace and Love beyond all measure!
Home! Safety! Comfort! Mother!"—and I slept.