The Work of Afro-American Women
There are nettles everywhere;
But smooth green grasses are more common still:
The blue of heaven is larger than the cloud.
In the bright and pleasant spring-time
We laid a dear form to rest:
The silvered head and the face of care,
The hands close crossed on the breast.
We gave God thanks for the suffering done,
The peace, and the joy and bliss,
That life had been lived, its trial were o'er
The next world's rest for the toil of this.
Then with the coming of winter's chill blast,
Low down in its earthy bed
The child of our love we softly laid
In its place with the lowly dead.
Friends crowded around with their whispers of love,
But we thought of the vacant cot,
The sweet voice now for evermore stilled,
And with sorrow we mourned our lot.
Then, with the silent fall of the leaves,
The last bird left our nest,
Our arms were empty, the house was stilled,
For our boy had gone to his rest.
We tried to repeat all words of prayer,
All submissive and quiet thoughts;
We tried to say God doth give and doth take,
Blessed be the name of the Lord.
Earth's joys are many, its sorrows are few,
And when in our arms was laid
A new little lamb to be trained for his fold,
We said that our God was good.
With thankful hearts we took up once more
The warp and the woof of life,
And out from our mind, our heart and thought,
We thrust the struggle and strife.
And trusting God in His mercy still,
The Man of sorrow and acquaint with grief,
We say this life to an end must come,
Both its joys and sorrows be brief.