Grandmother’s Sermon

THE supper is over, the hearth is swept,

And in the wood fire's glow 

The children cluster to hear a tale

Of that time so long ago,

When grandmother's hair was  golden-brown, 

And the warm blood  came  and went

O'er the face that  was scarcely sweeter then 

Than now in its rich content.

The face is wrinkled and care-worn now,

And the golden hair is gray; 

But the light that shone in the young girl's   eye

Has never gone  away.

And her needles catch the fire's bright light

As in and out they go, 

With the clicking music that grandma loves,

Shaping the stocking toe.

And the waiting children love it too,

For they know the stocking song 

Brings many  a tale to grandma's loves,

Which they shall hear ere long.

But it brings no story of olden time

To grandma's heart  tonight; 

Only a sermon quaint and short,

Is sung by the needles bright.

"Life is a stocking," grandma says,

"And yours is just begun; 

But I am knitting the toe of mine,

And my work is almost done.

"With merry hearts we begin to knit,

And the ribbing is almost play; 

Some are gay colored, and some are white,

And some are ashen gray:

"But most are made of many a hue,

With many a stitch set wrong; 

And many a row to be sadly ripped

Ere the whole is fair and strong.

"There are long, plain spaces without a break,

That in youth are hard to bear; 

And many a weary tear is dropped,

As we fashion the heel with care.

"But the saddest, happiest time is that 

Which we court, and yet would shun,

When our Heavenly Father breaks the thread, 

And says that our work is done."

The children came to say good-night, 

With tears in their bright, young eyes;

While in grandma's lap, with a broken thread, 

The finished stocking lies.