A little crippled figure, two big pathetic eyes,
A face that looked unchildish, so wan it was and wise;
I watched her as the homesick tears came chasing down each cheek.
'I had to come,' she whispered low, 'I was so tired and weak.
Her eyes are the windows of a soul
Where only the white thoughts spring,
And they look, as the eyes of the angels look,
For the good in everything.
When I was but a little lad
One thing I could not bear,
It was to stand at mother's knee
And have her comb my hair.
It is time for bed, so the nurse declares,
But I slip off to the nook,
The cozy nook at the head of the stairs,
Where daddy's reading his book.
I can see her in the kitchen,
Apron on and sleeves rolled up,
Measurin' spices in a teaspoon,
Figs and raisins in a cup.
Oh, a big broad-shouldered fellow was Ben,
And homely as you would see,
Such an awkward walker and stammering talker,
And as bashful as he could be.
They lift their faces to the light,
And aye they are a gallant band;
The queen of all is snowy white-
A stately thing, and tall and grand.
Praise God for blessings great and small,
For garden bloom and orchard store,
The crimson vine upon the wall,
The green and gold of maples tall,
My soul spoke low to Discontent:
Long hast thou lodged with me,
Now, ere the strength of me is spent,
I would be quit of thee.
'Twas a score of years since I'd heard the pipes,
But the other night I heard them;
There are sweet old memories in my heart,
And the music woke and stirred them.