Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. II. Love
Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume II. Love.  1904.
VIII. Wedded Love
Love Lightens Labor
A GOOD wife rose from her bed one morn,
  And thought, with a nervous dread,
Of the piles of clothes to be washed, and more
  Than a dozen mouths to be fed.
“There ’s the meals to get for the men in the field,        5
  And the children to fix away
To school, and the milk to be skimmed and churned;
  And all to be done this day.”
It had rained in the night, and all the wood
  Was wet as it could be;        10
There were puddings and pies to bake, besides a loaf of cake for tea.
And the day was hot, and her aching head
  Throbbed wearily as she said,
“If maidens but knew what good wives know,
  They would not be in haste to wed!”        15
“Jennie, what do you think I told Ben Brown?”
  Called the farmer from the well;
And a flush crept up to his bronzèd brow,
  And his eyes half-bashfully fell.
“It was this,” he said, and coming near        20
  He smiled, and stooping down,
Kissed her cheek,—“’t was this, that you were the best
  And the dearest wife in town!”
The farmer went back to the field, and the wife,
  In a smiling, absent way,        25
Sang snatches of tender little songs
  She ’d not sung for many a day.
And the pain in her head was gone, and the clothes
  Were white as the foam of the sea;
Her bread was light, and her butter was sweet,        30
  And as golden as it could be.
“Just think,” the children all called in a breath,
  “Tom Wood has run off to sea!
He wouldn’t, I know, if he ’d only had
  As happy a home as we.”        35
The night came down, and the good wife smiled
  To herself, as she softly said:
“’T is so sweet to labor for those we love,—
  It ’s not strange that maids will wed!”

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