It matters little if dark or fair —
Whole-souled honesty printed there.
Like crystal panes where hearth fires glow,
Beautiful thoughts that burn below.
Leap from the heart like songs of birds,
Yet whose utterance prudence girds.
Work that is honest and brave and true,
Moment by moment the long day through.
On kindly ministries to and fro,
Down lowliest ways, if God wills it so.
Ceaseless burdens of homely care
With patient grace and daily prayer.
Silent rivers of happiness,
Whose hidden fountains but few may guess.
Beautiful goal with race well won,
Beautiful rest with work well done.
Where brown leaves fall, where drifts lie deep
Over worn-out hands — oh! beautiful sleep!
Ellen P. Allerton
from “The Best Love Poems of the American People”