Work And Contemplation

Elizabeth Barrett Browning 1806 (Kelloe) – 1861 (Florence)

The woman singeth at her spinning-wheel
A pleasant chant, ballad or barcarole;
She thinketh of her song, upon the whole,
Far more than of her flax; and yet the reel
Is full, and artfully her fingers feel
With quick adjustment, provident control,
The lines--too subtly twisted to unroll--
Out to a perfect thread. I hence appeal
To the dear Christian Church--that we may do
Our Father's business in these temples mirk,
Thus swift and steadfast, thus intent and strong;
While thus, apart from toil, our souls pursue
Some high calm spheric tune, and prove our work
The better for the sweetness of our song.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Elizabeth Barrett Browning was one of the most prominent English poets of the Victorian era. more…

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"Work And Contemplation" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 14 Aug. 2020. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/10414/work-and-contemplation>.

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