Lord, who ordainest for mankind
Benignant toils and tender cares,
We thank Thee for the ties that bind
The mother to the child she bears.
We thank Thee for the hopes that rise.
Within her heart, as day by day
The dawning soul, from those young eyes
Looks with a clearer, steadier ray,
And grateful for the blessing given
With that dear infant on her knee,
She strains her eyes to look to heaven
The voice to lisp a prayer to Thee.
Such thanks the Blessed Mary gave
When from her lap the Holy Child,
Sent from on high to seek and save
The lost on earth, looked up and smiled.
All Gracious! grant to those that bear
A mother's charge, the strength and light
To guide the feet that own them care
In ways of love and truth and light.
William Cullen Bryant