The night was dark, for the moon was young
And the stars were asleep and rare;
The clouds were thick, yet Youth went out
To see his Maiden fair.
"Dear One," he pleaded as he knelt
Before her feet, in tears,
"My love is true; why have you kept
Me waiting all these years?"
The maiden looked at him unmoved,
It seemed, and whispered low:
"Persistent Youth, you have to prove
By deeds your love is true."
"There's not a thing I would not do
For you, Beloved," said he.
"Then go," said she, "to your mother dear
And bring her heart to me."
Without another word,
Youth left and went to his mother dear.
And opened her breast and took her heart.
He did not shed a tear!
Then back to his Maiden fair he ran,
Unmindful of the rain;
But his feet slipped and he fell down
And loud he groaned with pain!
Still in his hand he held the prize
That would win his Maiden's hand;
And he thought of his mother dear
So kind, so sweet, so fond.
And then he heard a voice,
Not from his lips but all apart:
"Get up," it said; "Were you hurt, Child?"
It was his mother's heart.