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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.
The Library of the World’s Best Literature. An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

Elizabeth Akers Allen (1832–1911)

Bringing Our Sheaves with Us

THE TIME for toil has passed, and night has come,—

The last and saddest of the harvest eves;

Worn out with labor long and wearisome,

Drooping and faint, the reapers hasten home,

Each laden with his sheaves.

Last of the laborers, thy feet I gain,

Lord of the harvest! and my spirit grieves

That I am burdened, not so much with grain,

As with a heaviness of heart and brain;—

Master, behold my sheaves!

Few, light, and worthless,—yet their trifling weight

Through all my frame a weary aching leaves;

For long I struggled with my hopeless fate,

And stayed and toiled till it was dark and late,—

Yet these are all my sheaves.

Full well I know I have more tares than wheat—

Brambles and flowers, dry stalks and withered leaves;

Wherefore I blush and weep, as at thy feet

I kneel down reverently and repeat,

“Master, behold my sheaves!”

I know these blossoms, clustering heavily,

With evening dew upon their folded leaves,

Can claim no value or utility,—

Therefore shall fragrancy and beauty be

The glory of my sheaves.

So do I gather strength and hope anew;

For well I know thy patient love perceives

Not what I did, but what I strove to do,—

And though the full ripe ears be sadly few,

Thou wilt accept my sheaves.