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A poem by Edgar A. Guest

The To A Lady Knitting

Title:     The To A Lady Knitting
Author: Edgar A. Guest [More Titles by Guest]

Little woman, hourly sitting,
Something for a soldier knitting,
What in fancy can you see?
Many pictures come to me
Through the stitch that now you're making:
I behold a bullet breaking;
I can see some soldier lying
In that garment slowly dying,
And that very bit of thread
In your fingers, turns to red.
Gray to-day; perhaps to-morrow
Crimsoned by the blood of sorrow.

It may be some hero daring
Shall that very thing be wearing
When he ventures forth to give
Life that other men may live.
He may braver wield the saber
As a tribute to your labor,
And for that, which you have knitted,
Better for his task be fitted.
When the thread has left your finger,
Something of yourself may linger,
Something of your lovely beauty
May sustain him in his duty.

Some one's boy that was a baby
Soon shall wear it, and it may be
He will write and tell his mother
Of the kindness of another,
And her spirit shall caress you,
And her prayers at night shall bless you.
You may never know its story,
Cannot know the grief or glory
That are destined now and hover
Over him your wool shall cover,
Nor what spirit shall invade it
Once your gentle hands have made it.

Little woman, hourly sitting,
Something for a soldier knitting,
'Tis no common garb you're making,
These, no common pains you're taking.
Something lovely, holy, lingers
O'er the needles in your fingers
And with every stitch you're weaving
Something of yourself you're leaving.
From your gentle hands and tender
There may come a nation's splendor,
And from this, your simple duty,
Life may win a fairer beauty.

[The end]
Edgar A. Guest's poem: To A Lady Knitting