When he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.@Luke 15:20
portrait
Robert Lowry (1826–1899)

Ro­bert Low­ry, in The Foun­tain of Song, 1877 (🔊 pdf nwc).

A wi­dowed lady of cul­ture, about for­ty years of age, who was an ac­comp­lished vo­cal­ist, had ceased to sing, though her sweet voice was still in its prime.

The cause was her sor­row for her run­a­way boy. She had not heard from him for five years. While spend­ing a week with friends in a ci­ty dis­tant from home, her hid­den talent was be­trayed by the friends to the pas­tor of their church, where a re­viv­al was in pro­gress, and per­sua­sion that seemed to put a du­ty up­on her fin­al­ly pro­cured her con­sent to sing a so­lo.

The church was crowd­ed. With a force and feel­ing that can be ea­si­ly guessed she sang Where Is My Boy To­night? and finished the first stan­za. She be­gan the se­cond…and as the con­gre­ga­tion caught up the refrain…a young man who had been sit­ting in a back seat made his way up the aisle and sobbed, Mo­ther, I’m here!

The embrace of that mo­ther and her long lost boy turned the ser­vice in­to a gen­er­al hal­le­lu­jah. At the in­qu­iry meet­ing that night there were ma­ny souls at the Mer­cy Seat who nev­er knelt there be­fore—and the young wan­der­er was one.

Brown, pp. 446–47

Where is my wandering boy tonight—
The boy of my tenderest care,
The boy that was once my joy and light,
The child of my love and prayer?

Refrain

O where is my boy tonight?
O where is my boy tonight?
My heart o’erflows, for I love him, he knows;
O where is my boy tonight?

Once he was pure as morning dew,
As he knelt at his mother’s knee;
No face was as bright, no heart more true,
And none was so sweet as he.

Refrain

O could I see you now, my boy,
As fair as in olden time,
When prattle and smile made home a joy,
And life was a merry chime!

Refrain

Go for my wandering boy tonight;
Go search for him where you will;
But bring him to me with all his blight,
And tell him I love him still.

Refrain