This poem was written two days after her last child, Mollie, was married, leaving the household without children for the first time.This was also less than two months before her husband of 39 years died.

 

Untitled Poem

by Elizabeth Mary Hester Parsons Hayman

 

As I passed through the woods in Springtime

I passed by a Mother birdís nest

And she looked so peaceful and happy

With her brood tucked under her breast.

She cast her gentle eye upward

To see if her birdlings Iíd harm.

By leaving I quietly assured her

I would do her babies no harm.

 

As I passed by each day I noted

The care she took of her young

While the helpful mate with a loveís instinct

Around the nest as a guard still hung.

One day while softly passing

I heard the Mother Birdís cry

And looked to find out the trouble.

The birds were merely trying to fly.

 

I watched and waited and listened

As she tried to teach them to fly

And shrilly she warned them of the danger

When she saw that it was nigh.

 

Again I passed by the home-nest

And all was quiet and lone.

The nest still swung on the green bough

But the swell of the little birdies was gone.

Gone from that soft nest forever

To make their nest of their own

And the Mother Bird cared not for the home-nest

Since all of her birdlings had flown.

 

Since then my birdlings I have gathered

Around my own home nest.

In sickness and health I have watched them

And held them close to my breast.

I have guided their first tottering footsteps,

As fearful they would stumble along.

By patience, love, and encouragement

Taught them to walk and be strong.

 

But the years have flown all too swiftly

They to men and women have grown,

And we who taught them their first steps

Sit now in the old home, alone.

And tonight, how lonely the home seems

Since all my birdlings have flown.

The last one who left me this morning

Has chosen a mate of her own.

 

But we have had our morning

Our noon and our evening tide

And soon the day will be dawning

For us on the other side.

On the other side of deathís portals

We shall be forever at rest

And there we hope to gather

Our children again to our breast.

 

-- Mary Hester Hayman

††† September 11, 1908