Last night as she took the Lincoln train
And her baggage on board I saw,
I know it is odd—but I felt a pain
To part with my mother-in-law!
A man’s own mother of course is dear
And the child that lisps "Papa,
But say don’t you think it a trifle queer
To love your mother-in-law ?
I don’t recall what it was she said,
But a tear in her eye I saw.—
And, turning homeward, I blessed the head
Of my absent mother-in-law,
And, somehow, I wished that the man who wrote
For the paper in Omaha
About the plumber and William-goat
And the joke on the mother-in-law,
Might know what it was, when the shadow of death
Had chilled his heart with awe
And he heard the cry of his firstborn’s breath,
To have a mother-in-law.
Perhaps in those days of care and pain
The ice in his heart might thaw
In the gentle sun and the kindly rain
From the heart of a mother-in-law.
Ah! let me look back, when in childhood plays,
I shouted the word "Grand-ma"
And never guessed that in earlier days
She had been a mother-in-law.
Fly through the rain. O Lincoln train,
But remember that you draw,
At each piston stroke, o’er the ties of oak,
My heart with my mother-in-law.