Poetry of Kansas

The Thread of Gray.

I have woven a braid, with patient toil.
    'Tis the work of many a day,
There are colors bright, but through them all
    Runs a thread of sober gray.
Blue and golden and green and red
    I have blended as best I may;
But through them all, and binding them all
    Runs the thread of sober gray.
The blue and the gold twine out and in,
    Like rainbow tints astray;
Then brilliant strands of green and red___
    But always the thread of gray.
And I think how like to an earnest life,
    With its pleasures by the way,
While through them all runs a steady aim,
    Like a thread of sober gray.
There are lights and laughter and feast and song,
    For labor must have its play___
But over and under and through them all
    Runs the thread of sober gray.
The mirth shall fail and the lights grow dim,
    And the song shall die away;
But the worker's crown shall be his who keeps
    To his thread of sober gray.
Alas for him who into his braid
    Weaves only the colors gay!
And alas for the close of the human life,
    That loses its thread of gray!

__Ellen P. Allerton.

Walls of Corn and Other Poems
Ellen P. Allerton
(Hiawatha, KS: Harrington Printing Company. 1894)
Pages 76-77

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April 17, 2003 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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