The Hand that Rocks the Cradle Rules the World

In 1865 a man by the name of William Ross Wallace published a poem hailing motherhood as the most powerful force in the world – one that is in every place among the high-born and low-born alike. With poetic beauty and literary skill, his haunting refrain “The Hand that Rocks Cradle Rules the World” calls women to recognize the intrinsic power that they possess as mothers.

Through his poem, Mr. Wallace reminds his readers that women are the great influencers of our world – for either good or evil. He calls upon women to recognize the divine mission of motherhood. Wallace pleads with us to keep the young hearts of our children open to God. He wants his readers to remember that mothers have an eternally significant calling and that a mother’s life can result in praise to God, echoing through the ages from the mouths of her sons and daughters. 

Each year as I read through the accounts of the kings in the Old Testament, I am reminded of this Biblical truth. In those accounts, the Holy Spirit almost always couples His commendation or condemnation of a particular king with reference to the king’s mother. For example, in Second Chronicles 22: 2-3 we read,

“Ahaziah was twenty-two years old when he began to reign, and he reigned one year in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Athaliah, the granddaughter of Omri. He also walked in the ways of the house of Ahab, for his mother was his counselor in doing wickedly.”    

And, conversely, in the passage introducing King Hezekiah, we read,

“Hezekiah began to reign when he was twenty-five years old, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Abijah, the daughter of Zechariah. And he did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, according to all that David his father had done” (2 Chronicles 29:1-2 ESV).

We read this sort of refrain repeatedly in the accounts of the kings. These accounts illustrate the power that women have to shape the next generation and thereby change the world. In reading these passages, we can see that long before William Ross Wallace wrote his epic poem in celebration of motherhood, the Holy Spirit heralded the truth that “The Hand that Rocks the Cradle Rules the World.” 

In honor of Mother’s Day, I have posted Mr. Wallace’s poem below. It is my desire that Christian mothers would be strengthened by the truths of this poem. I pray that each one of us that has been blessed with children would realize the incredible power that we have been entrusted with as the great influencers of our world. 

 Happy Mother’s Day.

THE HAND THAT ROCKS THE CRADLE IS
    THE HAND THAT RULES THE WORLD.

      BLESSINGS on the hand of women!
        Angels guard its strength and grace.
      In the palace, cottage, hovel,
          Oh, no matter where the place;
      Would that never storms assailed it,
          Rainbows ever gently curled,
      For the hand that rocks the cradle
          Is the hand that rules the world.

      Infancy’s the tender fountain,
          Power may with beauty flow,
      Mothers first to guide the streamlets,
          From them souls unresting grow—
      Grow on for the good or evil,
          Sunshine streamed or evil hurled,
      For the hand that rocks the cradle
          Is the hand that rules the world.

      Woman, how divine your mission,
          Here upon our natal sod;
      Keep—oh, keep the young heart open
          Always to the breath of God!
      All true trophies of the ages
          Are from mother-love impearled,
      For the hand that rocks the cradle
          Is the hand that rules the world.

      Blessings on the hand of women!
          Fathers, sons, and daughters cry,
      And the sacred song is mingled
          With the worship in the sky—
      Mingles where no tempest darkens,
          Rainbows evermore are hurled;
      For the hand that rocks the cradle
          Is the hand that rules the world.

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