Strickland Gillilan (1869–1954) was an American poet and humorist. He is most famous for the poem The Reading Mother which remains a common sentiment on Mother's Day. He is also recognized as the author of Lines on the Antiquity of Microbes, said to be the shortest poem ever written. Much of his work is public domain and is often reproduced in greeting cards.
The Reading Mother
I had a mother who read to me
Sagas of pirates who scoured the sea.
Cutlasses clenched in their yellow teeth;
"Blackbirds" stowed in the hold beneath.
I had a Mother who read me lays
Of ancient and gallant and golden days;
Stories of Marmion and Ivanhoe,
Which every boy has a right to know.
I had a Mother who read me tales
Of Gelert the hound of the hills of Wales,
True to his trust till his tragic death,
Faithfulness lent with his final breath.
I had a Mother who read me the things
That wholesome life to the boy heart brings-
Stories that stir with an upward touch.
Oh, that each mother of boys were such!
You may have tangible wealth untold;
Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold.
Richer than I you can never be --
I had a Mother who read to me.
- Shapiro, Fred R. (2006). Yale Book of Quotations. Yale University Press. p. 310. ISBN 978-0-300-10798-2.
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