Winding Wool

Winding Wool

by

Robert Service

She’d bring me a skein of wool

And beg me to hold out my hands;

So on my pipe I’d cease to pull

And watch her twine the shining strands

Into a ball so snug and neat,

Perchance a pair of socks to knit

To comfort my unworthy feet,

Or pullover my girth to fit.

As to the winding I would sway,

A poem in my head would sing,

And I would watch in dreamy way

The bright yarn swiftly slendering.

The best I liked were colored strands

I let my pensive pipe grow cool…

Two active hands and two passive hands,

So busy winding shining wool.

Alas!  Two of those hands are cold,

And in these days of wrath and wrong,

I am so wearyful and old,

I wonder if I’ve lived too long.

So in my loneliness I sit

And dream of sweet domestic rule…

When gentle women used to knit,

And men were happy winding wool.

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