Scripture Verse

Honor thy father and thy mother. Exodus 20:12


Words & Mu­sic: Alon­zo J. Ab­bey, White Robes (Bos­ton, Mas­sa­chu­setts: Ol­iv­er Dit­son, 1879), page 114 (🔊 pdf nwc).

If you know where to get a good pho­to of Ab­bey (head & shoul­ders, at least 200×300 pix­els),


Be kind to thy fa­ther, for when thou wast young,
Who loved thee so fond­ly as he?
He caught the first ac­cents that fell from thy tongue,
And joined in thy in­no­cent glee.
Be kind to thy fa­ther, for now he is old,
His locks in­ter­min­gled with gray,
His foot­steps are fee­ble, once fear­less and bold:
Thy father is pass­ing away.

Be kind to thy mo­ther, for lo! on her brow
May trac­es of sor­row be seen;
Oh! well may’st thou cher­ish and com­fort her now
For lov­ing and kind she has been.
Remember thy mo­ther, for thee will she pray
As long as God giv­eth her breath;
With ac­cents of kind­ness, then cheer her lone way,
E’en to the dark val­ley of death.

Be kind to thy bro­ther; his heart will have dearth
If the smiles of thy joy be with­drawn;
The flow­ers of feel­ing will fade at the birth,
If love and af­fect­ion be gone;
Be kind to thy bro­ther, wher­ev­er you are;
The love of a bro­ther shall be
An or­na­ment pur­er and rich­er by far
Than pearls from the depths of the sea.

Be kind to thy sis­ter; not ma­ny may know
The depth of true sis­ter­ly love;
The wealth of the ocean lies fa­thoms be­low
The sur­face that spar­kles above.
Thy kind­ness shall bring to thee ma­ny sweet hours,
And bless­ings thy path­way shall crown;
Affection shall weave thee a gar­land of flow­ers
More pre­cious than wealth or re­nown.