The Verse-Book of a Homely Woman

Publisher: DigiLibraries.com
ISBN: N/A
Language: English
Published: 1 month ago
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Excerpt

The Long View


Some day of days! Some dawning
yet to be
I shall be clothed with immortality!

And, in that day, I shall not greatly care
That Jane spilt candle grease upon the
stair.

It will not grieve me then, as once it did,
That careless hands have chipped my
teapot lid.

I groan, being burdened. But, in that
glad day,
I shall forget vexations of the way.

That needs were often great, when means
were small,
Will not perplex me any more at all
A few short years at most (it may be less),
I shall have done with earthly storm and
stress.

So, for this day, I lay me at Thy feet.
O, keep me sweet, my Master! Keep
me sweet!






First, there's the entrance, narrow,
and so small,
The hat-stand seems to fill the tiny hall;
That staircase, too, has such an awkward
bend,
The carpet rucks, and rises up on end!
Then, all the rooms are cramped and close
together;
And there's a musty smell in rainy weather.
Yes, and it makes the daily work go hard
To have the only tap across a yard.
These creaking doors, these draughts, this
battered paint,
Would try, I think, the temper of a saint,

How often had I railed against these
things,
With envies, and with bitter murmurings
For spacious rooms, and sunny garden
plots!
Until one day,
Washing the breakfast dishes, so I think,
I paused a moment in my work to pray;
And then and there
All life seemed suddenly made new and
fair;
For, like the Psalmist's dove among the
pots
(Those endless pots, that filled the tiny
sink!),
My spirit found her wings.

"Lord" (thus I prayed), "it matters not
at all
That my poor home is ill-arranged and
small:
I, not the house, am straitened; Lord,
'tis I!
Enlarge my foolish heart, that by-and-by
I may look up with such a radiant face
Thou shalt have glory even in this place.
And when I trip, or stumble unawares
In carrying water up these awkward stairs,
Then keep me sweet, and teach me day
by day
To tread with patience Thy appointed
way.
As for the house . . . . Lord, let it be
my part
To walk within it with a perfect heart."





The Housewife


See, I am cumbered, Lord,
With serving, and with small vexa-
tious things.
Upstairs, and down, my feet
Must hasten, sure and fleet.
So weary that I cannot heed Thy word;
So tired, I cannot now mount up with
wings.
I wrestle—how I wrestle!—through the
hours.
Nay, not with principalities, nor powers—
Dark spiritual foes of God's and man's—
But with antagonistic pots and pans:
With footmarks in the hall,
With smears upon the wall,
With doubtful ears, and small unwashen
hands,
And with a babe's innumerable demands.

I toil with feverish haste, while tear-drops
glisten,

(O, child of mine, be still. And listen—
listen!)

At last, I laid aside
Important work, no other hands could do
So well (I thought), no skill contrive so
true.
And with my heart's door open—open
wide—
With leisured feet, and idle hands, I sat.
I, foolish, fussy, blind as any bat,
Sat down to listen, and to learn. And lo,
My thousand tasks were done the better so.

...