His Gnarled Old Hands

HIS hands were sure as they toiled each day,

GNARLED and knotted as ancient oak,

OLD and bleached as the autumn hay,

HANDS at last idle in silence spoke.

GNARLED and knotted as ancient oak;

Strong yet gentle where love held sway;

Working each hour with an aiming stroke;

Hardened and scarred but an ashen gray ...

OLD and bleached as the autumn hay--

His sons and daughters and neighbor folk,

Friends and kindred from far away

Pressed those hands while their voices broke.

HANDS at last idle in silence spoke:

"Joy is found hidden in work's array.

Love makes easy the heavy yoke."

Hands that were clasped as he knelt to pray--

HIS GNARLED OLD HANDS!