"Bringing Our Sheaves with Us"
The time for toil is past, and night has come,--
The last and saddest of the harvest-eves;
Worn out with labor long and wearisome,
Drooping and faint, the reapers hasten home,
Each laden with his sheaves.
Last of the laborers thy feet I gain,
Lord of the harvest! and my spirit grieves
That I am burdened not so much with grain
As with a heaviness of heart and brain;--
Master, behold my sheaves!
Few, light, and worthless,--yet their trifling weight
Through all my frame a weary aching leaves;
For long I struggled with my hapless fate,
And staid and toiled till it was dark and late,--
Yet these are all my sheaves.
Full well I know I have more tares than wheat,--
Brambles and flowers, dry stalks, and withered leaves
Wherefore I blush and weep, as at thy feet
I kneel down reverently, and repeat,
"Master, behold my sheaves!"
I know these blossoms, clustering heavily
With evening dew upon their folded leaves,
Can claim no value nor utility,--
Therefore shall fragrancy and beauty be
The glory of my sheaves.
So do I gather strength and hope anew;
For well I know thy patient love perceives
Not what I did, but what I strove to do,--
And though the full, ripe ears be sadly few,
Thou wilt accept my sheaves.