“I HAVE labored in vain," a teacher said, 

And her brow was marked by care; 

"I have labored in vain." She bowed her head, 

And bitter and sad were the tears she shed 

In that moment of dark despair;

"I am weary and worn, and my hands are weak,

And my courage is well nigh gone; 

For none give heed to the words I speak, 

And in vain for a promise of fruit I seek, 

Where the seed of the word is sown."

And again with a sorrowing heart she wept,

For the spirit with grief was stirred; 

Till the night grew dark, and at last she slept, 

And a silent calm o'er her spirit crept, 

And a whisper of "peace" was heard.

And she thought in her dreams that the soul took flight

To a blessed and bright abode; 

She saw a throne of dazzling light, 

And harps were ringing and robes were white,

Made white in a Saviour's blood.

And she saw such a countless throng around

As she never had seen before; 

Their brows with jewels of light were crowned, 

And sorrow and sighing no place had found,

For the troubles of time were o'er.

Then a white-robed maiden came forth and said, 

"Joy! Joy! For thy trials are past! 

I am one whom thy gentle words have led 

The narrow pathway of life to tread, 

And we're safely home at last!"

And the teacher gazed on the maiden's face;

She had seen that face on earth, 

When with anxious heart, in her wonted place, 

She had told her charge of a Saviour's grace,

And their need of a second birth.

Then the teacher smiled, and an angel said, 

"Go forth to thy work again; 

It is not in vain the seed is shed, 

If only one soul to the cross is led, 

Thy labor is not in vain."

And at last she awoke, and her knee she bent

In grateful, childlike prayer; 

And she prayed till an answer of peace was sent; 

And Faith and Hope as a rainbow blent,

O'er the clouds of her earthly care.

And she rose ill her joy, and her eyes were bright,

Her sorrow and grief had fled; 

And her soul was calm and her heart was light, 

For her hands were strong in her Saviour's might,

As forth to her work she sped.

Then rise, fellow-teacher, to labor go!

Wide scatter the precious grain; 

Though the fruit may never be seen below, 

Be sure that the seed of the word shall grow; 

Toil on in faith, and thou soon shalt know 

"Thy labor is not in vain." 

S. S. World.