The Work of Woman's Hand

As waves that smile at morn are weak
To show wild ocean tempest stirr'd,
So, feebly does expression speak,
So far the theme transcends the word.

For words from depths of fancy brought
Faint echoes are, though sweet or strong,
And he who singeth all his thought
Will never rouse the world with song.

Theme beyond thought! in mystery steep'd,
The living Love that walk'd of yore,
Where Hermon stood, and Jordan leap'd
Against his vine-empurpled shore;

That thrill'd Aslumbering world, and broke
The chain that fetter'd woman's life,
And to a nobler purpose woke
Her, — toy of ease, or cause of strife.

The beauty and the strength He gave,
The love refined that shed the nard,
The courage that could watch His grave
Regardless of the Roman guard.

And still she holds her precious gifts,
Hath smiles to cheer, and charm to win,
The heart that feels, the hand that lifts,
The foot that seeks the haunts of sin.

Not alms profuse at random thrown,
Not class 'gainst class her lip would teach,
But brave self-help, sweet mercy shown,
And free dependence each on each;

And honest toil that need supplies,
God's first best gift to man's right hand,
When forfeit of his Paradise
He wander'd forth to till the land.

Now to that World's Show o'er the sea
She saith, " O man, I send my share —
The needle's delicate tracery,
The fresh design, the fabric fair.

" I bring my best of hand, and loom,
From teeming cities throng'd of men,
From Highland hills enwrapt in gloom,
From English glade and Irish glen. "

Load the good ship, and speed her well,
Beyond old England's furthest rock,
And those grey cliffs that sentinel
Ierne 'gainst the billow's shock!

Across the wide uncultured plain,
The brown Atlantic lone and vast,
That swells, and sinks, and swells again
And whitens as she hurries past.

Our sisters hear, and answering pour
Their part; from spice-embalmed isle,
Canadian coast, and Indian shore,
And where Australian pastures smile.

So bring them forth, and proudly lay
In that fair place, a whole world's mart,
Where flow'rs shall bloom, and waters play,
And powers inventive blend with art.

Till our great kindred race abroad,
And wandering men from many a land,
Shall see them lie 'mid gem and gaud,
And praise the work of woman's hand.
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