Song of the Worker’s Wife

02-06 Jones
Alice Gray Jones
1852 – 1943

My hands are none too white,
Nor lovely nor tender either,
They’re rough and ugly to your sight,
Because of the constant labour,
But my hands are not complaining,
There’s no whinging in my breast,
When I recall my tidy house, containing,
My happy little family, like a Nest.

The kids would go early to bed,
And I’d set to doing the wash,
The little snow white clothes all aired,
I’d get them up so nice and posh,
I’d sew a button on David’s shirt,
And put a nail in Sam’s shoe,
And I’d mend Enid’s red skirt-
Those chores that all mothers do.

And Oh! They were all around me,
Like glad little chicks in a throng,
And my single purpose was to see,
My children happy, fit and strong,
To keep an eye on their progress,
To care for them all day long,
To keep their language spotless:
I was happy, all smiles and song.

But, alas, they’ve all grown up,
And all have left the nest,
They’ll no more come home to sup,
And their old toys are all at rest!
The workbox for mending their things,
And for putting a nail in Sam’s shoe,
Is now quite useless- a bird without wings;
A mam’s initiative unwanted, no more for her to do!

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