The House-Mother

A poem by Fay Inchfawn

Across the town the evening bell is ringing;
Clear comes the call, through kitchen windows winging!

Lord, knowing Thou art kind,
I heed Thy call to prayer.
I have a soul to save;
A heart which needs, I think, a double share
Of sweetnesses which noble ladies crave.
Hope, faith and diligence, and patient care,
With meekness, grace, and lowliness of mind.
Lord, wilt Thou grant all these
To one who prays, but cannot sit at ease?

They do not know,
The passers-by, who go
Up to Thy house, with saintly faces set;
Who throng about Thy seat,
And sing Thy praises sweet,
Till vials full of odours cloud Thy feet;
They do not know . . .
And, if they knew, then would they greatly care
That Thy tired handmaid washed the children's hair;
Or, with red roughened hands, scoured dishes well,
While through the window called the evening bell?
And that her seeking soul looks upward yet,
THEY do not know . . . but THOU wilt not forget

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