YES, she is blind! You well might doubt her doom,
Seeing her softly move across the room:
And from the organ, in the evening calm,
Draw forth the notes of some remember'd psalm;
A “Cradle-song” or deep funereal roll
Imprinted by some angel on her soul.
Then, see the bright, swift knitting-needless go,
With interlacing wool, till, row on row,
Some little garment takes its goodly shape,
The jacket, socks, or quaintly-fashion'd cape;
To glad the eyes of some poor soul distrest,
And help in feathering her humble nest.
Those are her books; upon that dotted line,
Her fingers trace the promises divine;
The mysteries of old historic day,
The pleasing tale, or sweet, poetic lay.
Touch compensates for faded visual rays,
And nurture to the hungry soul conveys.
Upon that frame, with perforating stile,
The vacant hours she oft-times will beguile,
Embossing for some sister suff'rer's hand
(In type the sightless only understand),
The thoughts that to sublimest themes belong,
The witty paragraph or cheerful song.
A threaded needle, now, her fingers hold,
In earnest tones a missioner has told
Of comfort needed for the men who keep
Their dreary vigils on the restless deep,
Pleading for help such comfort to provide,
And cast like “bread upon the waters wild.”
So, at a canvas wallet now she sews,
That each man may be furnish'd as he goes
With scripture, and small literary store,
Slung with his hammock in the vessel's fore;
His mind to elevate, his thoughts to raise,
Above the toilsome clamour of his days.
O, ye whose eyes so beautiful and bright
(Gifted with God's own marvels, light and sight),
Are idly gazing at His works around,
Or cast in apathy upon the ground;
Till roused, your meed of beauty to enhance,
With gorgeous robes for festal song or dance,
Look at this girl, upon a couch of pain,
Patiently working, striving not in vain,
To glorify the God, who (much denied)
Has to her soul such spirit-power supplied;
And when her cheerful industry you view,
Think what the bright and healthy ought to do!