"Beautiful Hands"
by Emma M. H. Gates

"SUCH beautiful, beautiful hands,

They're neither white nor small;

And you, I know, would scarcely think

That they were fair at all.

I've looked on hands whose form and hue

A sculptor's dream might be,

Yet are these agéd wrinkled hands

Most beautiful to me.

Such beautiful, beautiful hands!

Though heart were weary and sad

These patient hands kept toiling on

That the children might be glad.

I almost weep when looking back

To childhood's distant day!

I think how these hands rested not

When mine were at their play.

Such beautiful, beautiful hands!

They're growing feeble now,

And time and pain have left their mark

On hand, and heart and brow.

Alas! alas! the nearing time--

And the sad, sad day to me,

When 'neath the daisies, out of sight,

These hands must folded be.

But, oh! beyond the shadowy lands,

Where all is bright and fair,

I know full well these dear old hands

Will palms of victory bear;

When crystal streams, through endless years,

Flow over golden sands,

And where the old are young again,

I'll clasp my mother's hands. "


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