Lost Poetry Quotations
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"Turn back, turn back oh hands of time"
Posted by: k_petrich (66.99.150.---)
Date: February 26, 2004 02:36PM

My name is Kurt Petrich. I work at Stinson Memorial Library in Anna, IL. I have a patron who is looking for some poems from her childhood. I was able to locate 2 of them, but I am stuck on the 3rd. Ive tried all of our books and all over the internet. Perhaps someone here can recall the poem. Ill give you what information I have-

"Turn back, turn back oh hands of time" -This is a specific line that she remembers from the poem

A mother rocking while holding her child. Strands of hair turning grey -Other things that she remembers about the poem

If anyone has any information about this, please email me at stinson@shawls.lib.il.us

Post Edited (02-26-04 13:37)

Re: "Turn back, turn back oh hands of time"
Posted by: JP (---.ia4.marketscore.com)
Date: February 27, 2004 01:53AM

Rock Me to Sleep
Elizabeth Akers Allen

Backward, turn backward, oh Time in your flight.
Make me a child again, just for to-night!
Mother, come back from the echoless shore,
Take me again to your heart as of yore;
Kiss from my forehead the furrows of care.
Smooth the few silver threads out of my hair ---
Over my slumbers your loving watch keep ---
Rock me to sleep, mother --- rock me to sleep.

Backward, flow backward, oh tide of years!
I am so weary of toil and of tears!
Toil without recompense — tears all in vain ---
Take them and give me my childhood again!
I’ve grown weary of dust and decay,
Weary of flinging my soul-wealth away ---
Weary of sowing for others to reap;
Rock me to sleep, mother --- rock me to sleep!

Tired of the hollow, the base, the untrue,
Mother, oh mother, my heart calls for you!
Many a summer the grass has grown green,
Blossomed and faded --- our faces between ---
Yet with strong yearning and passionate pain,
Long I to-night for your presence again;
Come from the silence so long and so deep ---
Rock me to sleep, mother --- rock me to sleep!

Over my heart in days that have flown,
No love like mother-love ever was shown ---
No other worship abides and endures,
Faithful, unselfish and patient like yours;
None like a mother can charm away pain,
From the sick soul and the world-weary brain;
Slumber’s soft calm o’re my heavy lids creep ---
Rock me to sleep, mother --- rock me to sleep!

Come, let your brown hair, just lighted with gold,
Fall on your shoulders again as of old ---
Let it fall over my forehead to-night,
Shading my faint eyes away from the light ---
For with its sunny-edged shadowed one more,
Hap'ly will throng the sweet visions of yore ---
Lovingly, softly, its bright billows sleep;
Rock me to sleep, mother --- rock me to sleep!

Mother, dear mother, the years have been long,
Since I last hushed to your lullaby song;
Since then, and unto my soul it shall seem,
Womanhood’s tears have been but a dream;
Clasped to your arms in a loving embrace,
With your light lashes just sweeping my face,
Never hereafter to wake or to weep ---
Rock me to sleep, mother --- rock me to sleep!

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