Bringing Our Sheaves with Us

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Bringing Our Sheaves with Us  (1858) 
by Elizabeth Chase Allen
Featured in Vol 2., No.3 of The Atlantic Monthly.

"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.

This work published before January 1, 1923 is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.