Among the colors bright,
With the pattern for his copying
Hung fair and plain in sight.
But the weaver’s thoughts were wandering
Away on a distant track,
As he threw the shuttle in his hand
Wearily forward and back.
And he turned his dim eyes to the ground,
And his tears fell on the woof,
For his thoughts, alas! were not with his home,
Nor the wife beneath its roof.
When her voice recalled him suddenly
To himself, as she sadly said:
“Ah! woe is me! for your work is spoiled,
And what will we do for bread?”
And then the weaver looked and saw
His work must be undone;
For the threads were wrong, and the colors dimmed
Where the bitter tears had run.
“Alack, alack!” said the weaver,
“And this had all been right
If I had not looked at my work, but kept
The pattern in my sight!”
Ah! sad it was for the weaver,
And sad for his luckless wife;
And sad it will be for us if we say,
At the end of our task in life,
The colors that we had to weave
Were bright in our early years;
But we wove the tissue wrong, and stained
The woof with bitter tears.
We wove a web of doubt and fear—
Not faith, and hope and love,
Because we looked at our work, and not
At our Pattern up above. —Phoebe Cary