Rest

A poem by Abram Joseph Ryan

My feet are wearied, and my hands are tired,
My soul oppressed --
And I desire, what I have long desired --
Rest -- only rest.

'Tis hard to toil -- when toil is almost vain,
In barren ways;
'Tis hard to sow -- and never garner grain,
In harvest days.

The burden of my days is hard to bear,
But God knows best;
And I have prayed -- but vain has been my prayer
For rest -- sweet rest.

'Tis hard to plant in Spring and never reap
The Autumn yield;
'Tis hard to till, and 'tis tilled to weep
O'er fruitless field.

And so I cry a weak and human cry,
So heart oppressed;
And so I sigh a weak and human sigh,
For rest -- for rest.

My way has wound across the desert years,
And cares infest
My path, and through the flowing of hot tears,
I pine -- for rest.

'Twas always so; when but a child I laid
On mother's breast
My wearied little head; e'en then I prayed
As now -- for rest.

And I am restless still; 'twill soon be o'er;
For down the West
Life's sun is setting, and I see the shore
Where I shall rest.

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