A little maiden with braided hair
Walks to and fro
Before a wheel. What does she there?
The child is spinning tow.
In through the open window comes
The scented breeze;
With drowsy wing the wild bee hums
Out in the orchard trees.
The blue sky bends, the flowers are sweet,
As children know;
Yet with deft hands and steady feet,
This child keeps spinning tow,
Still works she; steady mounts the sun
Through the skies of May,—
The small task ends; the skein is spun;
The girl bounds out to play.
She learns life's lesson young you say?
'Tis better so.
That life is toil as well as play,
She learns here spinning tow.
Years pass. Beside her own hearthstone
A woman stands
With steady eye and cheerful tone,
Brave heart and willing hands.
This matron, who on household ways
Glides to and fro,
Learned when a child, on soft spring days,
Life's lesson, spinning tow.