Strickland Gillilan

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Strickland Gillilan

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.[1] Much of his work is public domain and is often reproduced in greeting cards.

The Reading Mother[edit]

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 child 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 child's heart brings-
Stories that stir with an upward touch.
Oh, that each mother 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.

      Strickland Gillilan



  1. ^ Shapiro, Fred R. (2006). Yale Book of Quotations. Yale University Press. p. 310. ISBN 978-0-300-10798-2. 

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