ROUGHENED and worn with ceaseless toil and care,
No perfumed grace, no dainty skill, had these ;
They earned for whiter hands a jeweled ease,
And kept the scars unlovely for their share.
Patient and slow, they had the will to bear
The whole world’s burdens, but no power to seize
The flying joys of life, the gifts that please,
The gold and gems that others find so fair.
Dear hands, where bridal jewel never shone,
Whereon no lover’s kiss was ever pressed,
Crossed in unwonted quiet on the breast,
I see, through tears, your glory newly won,
The golden circlet of life’s work well done,
Set with the shining pearl of perfect rest.
Susan Marr Spalding.