A good wife rose from her bed one morn,
And thought, with a nervous dread,
Of the piles of clothes to be washed,
and more than a dozen mouths to be fed.
"There's the meals to get for the men in the field,
and the children to fix away
To school, and the milk to be skimmed and churned;
And all to be done this day."
It had rained in the night, and all the wood
was wet as it could be;
There were puddings and pies to bake, besides
A loaf of cake for tea.
And the day was hot, and her aching head
throbbed wearily as she said,
"If maidens but knew what good wives know,
They would not be in haste to wed!"
"Jennie, what do you think I told Ben Brown?"
Called the farmer from the well;
And a flush crept up to his bronzed brow,
And his eyes half-bashfully fell:
"It was this," he said, and coming near
He smiled, and stooping down,
Kissed her cheek--"'Twas this, that you were the best
And the dearest wife in town!"
The farmer went back to the field, and the wife,
In a smiling, absent way,
Sang snatches of tender little songs
She'd not sung for many a day.
And the pain in her head was gone, and the clothes
Were white as the foam of the sea;
Her bread was light, and her butter was sweet,
And as golden as it could be.
"Just think" the children all called in a breath,
"Tom Wood has run off to sea!
He wouldn't, I know, if he'd only had
As happy a home as we."
The night came down, and the good wife smiled
To herself, as she softly said:
"'Tis so sweet to labor for those we love;
'It's not strange that maids will wed!