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.