To Mary Field French
A dying mother gave to you
Her child a many years ago;
How in your gracious love he grew,
You know, dear, patient heart, you know.
The mother's child you fostered then
Salutes you now and bids you take
These little children of his pen
And love them for the author's sake.
To you I dedicate this book,
And, as you read it line by line,
Upon its faults as kindly look
As you have always looked on mine.
Tardy the offering is and weak;---
Yet were I happy if I knew
These children had the power to speak
My love and gratitude to you.