The Mother

The Mother

by Robert W. Service

There will be a singing in your heart,
There will be a rapture in your eyes;
You will be a woman set apart,
You will be so wonderful and wise.
You will sleep, and when from dreams you start,
As of one that wakes in Paradise,
There will be a singing in your heart,
There will be a rapture in your eyes.

There will be a moaning in your heart,
There will be an anguish in your eyes;
You will see your dearest ones depart,
You will hear their quivering good-byes.
Yours will be the heart-ache and the smart,
Tears that scald and lonely sacrifice;
There will be a moaning in your heart,
There will be an anguish in your eyes.

There will come a glory in your eyes,
There will come a peace within your heart;
Sitting ‘neath the quiet evening skies,
Time will dry the tear and dull the smart.
You will know that you have played your part;
Yours shall be the love that never dies:
You, with Heaven’s peace within your heart,
You, with God’s own glory in your eyes.

Literary Analysis

The theme of this poem is the poet’s love for his mother. He especially appreciates her role in bringing up her children, including the way she raises them up while facing numerous troublesome challenges. In every situation, she always plays a positive role by displaying a smile on her face without showing any sign of sadness and worries. The speaker is praising her mother’s gracefulness and her outstanding role in his life.

Addressed to the mother, the poem is set in an unspecified place, since it is only about the poet’s feelings and memories regarding her role. The tone is satisfied, contented, filled with thankfulness, and pays a tribute to the poet’s mother. The poet opens the poem by talking about the moods and reflections of his mother in different moments, such as There will be a singing in your heart.” When he glances at her, she seems happy – this is the reason that he calls her a blessed woman. He goes on to describe that when she will wake from her dreams, it will be like “one that wakes in Paradise.”

In the next stanza, the tone changes from happiness to moaning and suffering, for as a mother, she could foresee the suffering of her dear ones. Even then, though, she has the courage and patience to withstand the loss of her near and dear ones with bravery. When her dear ones will pass on, leaving their families mourning behind, the poet says, “Yours will be the heart-ache and the smart.” This is undoubtedly the worst grief for a mother to see her children die before her eyes, while she is hapless and unable to do anything for their “lonely sacrifice.”

However, in the final stanza, the tone again alters from mourning to satisfaction and happiness. “There will come a glory in your eyes,” the poet says, as “Time will dry the tear and dull the smart.” Because she has played her role to its fullest, the mother’s love is immortal: “Yours shall be the love that never dies.” Her heart has a peace that could be described as heavenly. The poet is trying to portray his mother as an embodiment of perfect love, having heavenly beauty that can never die.

Structural Analysis

The poem is written in lyrical form. It contains three stanzas, and each stanza consists of eight lines. The rhyme scheme strictly follows an ABAB pattern:

There will be a singing in your heart,             A
There will be a rapture in your eyes;              B
You will be a woman set apart,                      A
You will be so wonderful and wise.                B

The meter of most of the lines is trochaic pentameter, such as in There will be a singing in your heart, / There will be a rapture in your eyes.” However, there are some exceptional lines with tetrameter, such as As of one that wakes in Paradise. A literary device called anaphora that refers to the repetition of words is used in the beginning of the clauses such as “There will be” “You will be” and “You shall be.” This constitutes the rhyme and rhythm of the poem, and makes reading pleasurable and the poem easier to remember. Enjambment is only used in a few lines like “You will sleep, and when from dreams you start, /As of one that wakes in Paradise,” whereas, the remaining lines carry complete meanings and ideas within them. Assonance appears throughout the poem, such as the “i” sound in “will, singing.”

Guidance for Usage of Quotes

The subject of this poem is focused around a mother’s love and her important role in bringing up her children. It gives us an insight into her painstaking role in raising them. There is no comparison to her love in this world. She faces suffering to help save her children from difficulties, and she incurs pain on their behalf. The speaker is paying a tribute to his mother’s services for him. Other people can pay similar tributes by sending this poem to their mothers on Mother’s Day, using quotes such as:

“You will know that you have played your part;
Yours shall be the love that never dies:
You, with Heaven’s peace within your heart,
You, with God’s own glory in your eyes.”

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