Page:All quiet along the Potomac and other poems.djvu/239

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The bird in the maple was quiet,

Looking down on the fair little maid,

And listened in decorous silence, While fervently thus Mabel prayed :

More work for these too-idle fingers ;

More work for the body and brain, Some task for this God-given spirit ;

Some goal to be entered through pain, Far out on the wide burning desert,

Away over mountain and sea ; Oh show me, Lord, truly my mission

Some path that will lead me to Thee."

The bird heard the prayer, full of wonder ;

He knew of the sorrows and cares That clustered the home-shadows under,

Unheeded and trffling affairs. No shine on the commonplace duty,

To tell it was known up above ; No sign of a saintship in waiting

For Patience and hard-tested Love.

Two mother -hands nerveless and weary,

Unable their burdens to bear, As they waver and tremble and falter

Beneath the high pressure of care ; While Freddy, poor pain-smitten darling !

Breathes gently a pitiful moan, And waits in the gathering shadow

The while, in his suffering alone.

20 *

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