This poem was published in her daughters’ biography, Julia Ward Howe (1819-1910), which earned Laura E. Richards and Maud Howe Elliott the Pulitzer Prize in 1917. Howe wrote this poem during a dark period in 1843-44 when she did not expect her first born child to survive.
He gave the Mother’s chastened heart,
He gave the Mother’s watchful eye,
He bids me live but where thou art,
And look with earnest prayer on high.
Julia Ward Howe
Then spake the angel of Mothers
To me in gentle tone:
“Be kind to the children of others
And thus deserve thine own!”