Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, WORK AND CONTEMPLATION, by ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING

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WORK AND CONTEMPLATION, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: The woman singeth at her spinning-wheel
Last Line: The better for the sweetness of our song.
Subject(s): Labor & Laborers; Christianity; Work; Workers

THE woman singeth at her spinning-wheel
A pleasant chant, ballad or barcarole;
She thinketh of her song, upon the whole,
Far more than of her flax; and yet the reel
Is full, and artfully her fingers feel
With quick adjustment, provident control,
The lines -- too subtly twisted to unroll --
Out to a perfect thread. I hence appeal
To the dear Christian Church -- that we may do
Our Father's business in these temples mirk,
Thus swift and steadfast, thus intent and strong;
While thus, apart from toil, our souls pursue
Some high calm spheric tune, and prove our work
The better for the sweetness of our song.

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