be free

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


 The Old Sampler

Out of the way, in a corner
of our dear old attic room,
Where bunches of herbs from the hillside
Shake ever a faint perfume,
An oaken chest is standing,
With hasp and padlock and key  
Strong as the hands that made it
On the other side of the sea.

When the winter days are dreary,
And we're out of heart with life,
Of its crowding cares aweary,
And sick of its restless strife,
We take a lesson in patience
From the attic corner dim,
Where the chest still holds it treasures,
A warder faithful and grim.

Robes of an antique fashion,
Linen and lace and silk,
That time has tinted with saffron,
Though once they were white as milk;
Wonderful baby garments,
‘Broidered with loving care
By fingers that felt the pleasure,
As they wrought the rugglesfair.

A sword, with the red rust on it,
That flashed in the battle tide,
When from Lexington to Yorktown
Sorely men's souls were tried;
A plumed chapeau and a buckle,
and many a relic fine,
And all by itself the sampler,
Framed in with berry and vine.

Faded the square of canvas,
And dim the silken thread,
But I think of white hands dimpled,
And a childish, sunny head;
For here in cross and tent-stitch,
In a wreath of berry and vine,
She worked it a hundred years ago,

In and out in the sunshine
The little needle flashed,
And in and out on the rainy day,
When the merry drops down plashed,
As close she sat by her mother,
The little Puritan maid,
And did her piece on the sampler,
While the other children played.

You are safe in the beautiful heaven,
But before you went you had troubles
Sharper than any of mine.
Oh, the gold hair turned with sorrow
White as the drifted snow,
And your tears dropped here, where I'm standing,
On this very plumed chapeau.

When you put it away, its wearer
Would need it never more,
By a sword-thrust learning the secrets
God keeps on yonder shore;
And you wore your grief like glory,
You could not yield supine,
Who wrought in your patient childhood,

Out of the way, in a corner,
With hasp and padlock and key,
Stands the oaken chest of my fathers
That came from over the sea;
And the hillside herbs above it
Shake odors fragrant and fine,
And here on the lid is a garland

For love is of the immortal,
And patience is sublime,
And trouble a thing of every day
And touching every time;
And childhood sweet and sunny,
And womanly truth and grace,
Ever can light life's darkness
And bless earth's lowliest place.

Mrs. M.E.Sangster

Poems of Home Life
American Tract Society, N.Y.C., New York 


The Inspired Stitcher said...

This is just wonderful. Thanks for sharing it today!

Carin said...

Thanks for sharing this lovely poem !

Louise said...

I love this!!!! :)

Hope you are having a blessed weekend.
Louise xx

Carolyn NC said...

Beautiful! - Just wanted to touch base and see how you were doing. Haven't been online much and I don't often get to blogs so thought it would be nice to take the opportunity! Take care.