Elizabeth Barrett Browning

(6 March 1806 – 29 June 1861 / Durham / England)

Work And Contemplation - Poem by Elizabeth Barrett Browning

The woman singeth at her spinning-wheel
A pleasant chant, ballad or barcarole;
She thinketh of her song, upon the whole,
Far more than of her flax; and yet the reel
Is full, and artfully her fingers feel
With quick adjustment, provident control,
The lines--too subtly twisted to unroll--
Out to a perfect thread. I hence appeal
To the dear Christian Church--that we may do
Our Father's business in these temples mirk,
Thus swift and steadfast, thus intent and strong;
While thus, apart from toil, our souls pursue
Some high calm spheric tune, and prove our work
The better for the sweetness of our song.


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Read poems about / on: ballad, song, woman, father, work, women



Poem Submitted: Sunday, May 13, 2001

Poem Edited: Sunday, May 13, 2001


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