The Drudge

A poem by John Charles McNeill

Repose upon her soulless face,
Dig the grave and leave her;
But breathe a prayer that, in his grace,
He who so loved this toiling race
To endless rest receive her.

Oh, can it be the gates ajar
Wait not her humble quest,
Whose life was but a patient war
Against the death that stalked from far
With neither haste nor rest;

To whom were sun and moon and cloud,
The streamlet's pebbly coil,
The transient, May-bound, feathered crowd,
The storm's frank fury, thunder-browed,
But witness of her toil;

Whose weary feet knew not the bliss
Of dance by jocund reed;
Who never dallied at a kiss!
If heaven refuses her, life is
A tragedy indeed!

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