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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889


By Helen Hunt Jackson (1830–1885)

[Born in Amherst, Mass. Died in San Francisco, Cal., 1885. Verses. By H. H. 1874.]

LIKE a blind spinner in the sun,

I tread my days;

I know that all the threads will run

Appointed ways;

I know each day will bring its task,

And, being blind, no more I ask.

I do not know the use or name

Of that I spin;

I only know that some one came,

And laid within

My hand the thread, and said, “Since you

Are blind, but one thing you can do.”

Sometimes the threads so rough and fast

And tangled fly,

I know wild storms are sweeping past,

And fear that I

Shall fall; but dare not try to find

A safer place, since I am blind.

I know not why, but I am sure

That tint and place,

In some great fabric to endure

Past time and race

My threads will have; so from the first,

Though blind, I never felt accurst.

I think, perhaps, this trust has sprung

From one short word

Said over me when I was young,—

So young, I heard

It, knowing not that God’s name signed

My brow, and sealed me his, though blind.

But whether this be seal or sign

Within, without,

It matters not. The bond divine

I never doubt.

I know He set me here, and still,

And glad, and blind, I wait His will;

But listen, listen, day by day,

To hear their tread

Who bear the finished web away,

And cut the thread,

And bring God’s message in the sun,

“Thou poor blind spinner, work is done.”