by Elizabeth Akers Allen
The time for toil is past, and night has come,
The last and saddest of the harvest-eves;
Worn out with labor long and wearisome,
Drooping and faint, the reapers hasten home,
Each laden with his sheaves.
Last of the laborers thy feet I gain,
Lord of the harvest! and my spirit grieves
That I am burdened not so much with grain
As with a heaviness of heart and brain;
Master, behold my sheaves!
Few, light, and worthless,-yet their trifling weight
Through all my frame a weary aching leaves;
For long I struggled with my hapless fate,
And staid and toiled till it was dark and late,
Yet these are all my sheaves.
Full well I know I have more tares than wheat,
Brambles and flowers, dry stalks, and withered leaves
Wherefore I blush and weep, as at thy feet
I kneel down reverently, and repeat,
'Master, behold my sheaves!'
I know these blossoms, clustering heavily
With evening dew upon their folded leaves,
Can claim no value nor utility,
Therefore shall fragrancy and beauty be
The glory of my sheaves.
So do I gather strength and hope anew;
For well I know thy patient love perceives
Not what I did, but what I strove to do,
And though the full, ripe ears be sadly few,
Thou wilt accept my sheaves.
Last updated May 14, 2019