Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, AN OLD MAID, by CORA RANDALL FABBRI

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

AN OLD MAID, by                
First Line: Gray hair softly, smoothly parting
Last Line: Love to read.
Subject(s): Spinsters; Old Maids

GRAY hair softly, smoothly parting
O'er a brow where sorrow lies;
Eyes pathetic in their sadness,
Eyes that shame you from your gladness,
Tender, honest, wistful eyes;
And two lips where smiles are rare than the
sudden, fleeting sighs.

Two worn hands forever busy,
Toiling all the morning long,
When glad human souls are smiling
Underneath the sunshine, whiling
Idle hours with their song;
And no conscience voice is calling, telling them
that they are wrong.

Thus I see her ever sitting
Through the morn, and when the night
O'er the earth and sea is breaking,
When the myriad stars are waking,
Heaving, throbbing into sight,
And when other mortals wander hand in hand
beneath the light.

Peradventure when the silence
Hath grown stronger, and the gloom
Deepens into purple splendor;
When the moon-queen's crescent slender
O'er the hill begins to loom—
Then her griefs, through daytime maskèd, darker,
drearer shapes assume.

Then her heartache 'gins to waken,
For she is so lone!—so lone!—
Ah! poor lips that lack the clinging
Of warm kisses, and the ringing
Of child laughter is unknown
To this woman sitting silent when the eve to
night hath grown.

Where she sitteth 'tis most quiet,
No small print of feet is there;
No dropped toy child hands have broken;
No love speeches, no love token,
No glad laughter anywhere.
Ah, poor heart, ne'er stirred to throbbing by a
footstep on the stair!

Do you say, you happy mothers
With your children at your side,
That this woman's life is wasted
Just because she has not tasted
Of Love's cup? Because the tide
Of her mother-love strikes inward and is left

Wasted? Yes, this heart, this woman
Makes no mortal's Paradise.
At her leaving none grow sadder,
And no tender soul is gladder
For the brightening of her eyes.
What o'er-watchful heart is burdened for the
falling of her sighs?

Wasted? Yes, the tender romance
Of her youthful days is dead;
Evermore the sweet tale ended,
Where such joy and grief were blended;
Love from out her life hath fled.
But "Be all the mourners blessèd," Jesus Christ
divinely said.

And this woman, toiling, toiling,
With that sorrow in her eyes,
Walks her path in unrepining,
Furthest from the intertwining
Light of sunshine. All her skies
Lower darkly; smiles are rarer to her lips than
mournful sighs.

Yet she bears her cross most bravely,
Helping those who help may need.
Wasted? Nay, this life is duly
Beauteous, and her record truly
Is most noble, blest indeed;
Such a record, oh, you mothers, as the angels
love to read.

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