Near the End of the Weft by Henry Bellyse Baildon

A patient toiler, Time’s mild veteran,
He sits, beset with frame and beam and shaft,
Caged in the gear of his monotonous craft,
Imprisoned there like some injurious man,
While mellow-dusted radiance has began
To thrust broad level spoke athwart the room —
Weft of bland light across an umber gloom —
That casts on wall and floor a slanted plan
Of that erect machine’s square scaffolding;
And, as in reverent pity, does illume
The worker’s pausing hand and pallid brow.
Noble with Thought’s and Sorrow’s chiselling.
To face intent, unmoved, it seems to cling.
And whispers, “Final peace approacheth now.”

A wasted hand with veiny rivulet;
A brow pathetic, as some mountain’s head, —
Whereon the violent tempests struggling tread,
Whose patient front the restless torrents fret,
Where many thunders have for combat met,
Nor roused it from majestic dumb restraint,
Whereon the snow’s chill mitre oft is set. —
Meekly he works, dull Labour’s patient saint,
Unsorrowful, unfearfril, unelate;
In modest hope of peace, in faith resigned,
Devoid of gratulation or complaint;
Experience’ scholar. Life’s sad graduate,
A captive, being bound to humble fate, —
A victor, keeping an unconquered mind.

From: Baildon, Henry Bellyse, Morning Clouds, Being Divers Poems, 1877, David Douglas: Edinburgh, pp. 16-17.

Date: 1877

By: Henry Bellyse Baildon (1849-1907)

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