Who Loved Best?
by Joy Allison
"I love you, Mother," said little John.
Then forgetting his work, his cap went on.
And he was off to the garden swing,
Leaving his Mother the wood to bring.
"I love you, Mother," said little Nell.
"I love you more than tongue can tell."
"Then she teased and pouted half the day,
Till Mother rejoiced when she went to play.
"I love you, Mother," said little Fan.
"Today I’ll help you all I can."
To the cradle then she did softly creep,
And rocked the baby till it fell asleep.
Then stepping softly, she took the broom,
And swept the floor, and dusted the room.
Busy and happy all day was she,
Helpful and cheerful as child could be.
"I love you, Mother," again they said.
Three little children, going to bed.
How do you think that Mother guessed
Who of the children loved her best?
note: This poem was in our 4th grade reader, I think. And I loved it because I was the eldest child, and at that time, Mother was ill, and I was needed. Catholic school TAUGHT the morality of filial piety - the goodness and duty and love between parent and child - not a one-way street. And I found that helping made me feel quite grown up and powerful though just a child, and so the “moment” became a triumph.
Mother recovered and lived a find full life and passed last year at age 92…I help good :-D
So this poem would swan about in the back of my mind, gracefully re-introducing itself when needed...but I could never find a copy of it till now;
You may have enjoyed one of many versions of it, but this one is closest to the one I learned and loved.