Poetry of Kansas

My Mother's Wheel.

Broken, dismantled! would that it were mine:
    I would not keep it in that dusty nook,
Where tangled cobwebs cross and intertwine,
    And old, grim spiders from their corners look.
 
From distaff, band, and polished rim, are hung
    The dusty meshes. Black the spindle is,
Crooked, and rusty___a dead, silent tongue,
    That once made whispering music___there it lies.
 
Ah, dear to me is the forsaken thing!
    I gaze upon it and my eyes grow dim;
For I can see my mother, hear her sing,
    As winds the shining thread, and whirls the rim.
 
So sweet she sang___her youngest on her knee___
    Now a low warble, now some grand old hymn,
Sublime, exultant, full of victory,
    Triumphant as the songs of seraphim.
 
Sweet toiler! through her life of crowded care,
    While grief came oft, and pain, and weariness,
Still swelled the anthem, still was breathed the prayer,
    Till death came clasping with its cold caress.
 
She sings no more; beside the chimney wide
    No more she spins. Years come and go;
Above her grave on the lone hillside,
    The snow drifts lie, the summer grasses grow.

__Ellen P. Allerton.

Walls of Corn and Other Poems
Ellen P. Allerton
(Hiawatha, KS: Harrington Printing Company. 1894)
Pages 86-87

 
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December 3, 2002 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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