The Loom of Life Part 1

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The Loom of Life is a Webnovel created by Cotton Noe.
This lightnovel is currently completed.

The Loom of Life.

by Cotton Noe.

A SKEIN OF SILVER

THE OLD-FASHIONED LOOM

The old log house where Margaret lived, whose roof had mossy grown, Reposed amid its clump of trees, a queen upon her throne.

The landscape round smiled proudly and the flowers shed sweet perfume, When Margaret plied the shuttle of the rude old-fashioned loom.

The world has grown fastidious–demands things ever new– But we could once see beauties in the rainbow’s every hue; The bee could then find nectar in a common clover bloom, And simple hearts hear music in the shuttle of the loom.

The picture that my memory paints is never seen to-day– The April sun of by-gone years has lost its brightest ray: A fancy-wrought piano in a quaint, antique old room, But Margaret sang her sweetest to the music of the loom.

She wore a simple home-spun dress, for Margaret’s taste was plain, Yet life was like a song to her, with work a sweet refrain.

The sunshine filled her days with joy, night’s shadows brought no gloom.

When Margaret plied the shuttle of the old old-fashioned loom.

Her warp of life was toiling hard, but love its beauteous woof.

The web she wove, a character beyond the world’s reproof.

O girls of wealth and beauty vain, who dress in rich costume, How sweet the shuttle’s music of this rare old-fashioned loom.

The world may grow fastidious in art and nature too, And say there is no beauty in the rainbow’s every hue; And yet the bee finds nectar in a common clover bloom, And I still love the music of the old old-fashioned loom.

THE OLD OLD CLOCK

Dear old Old Clock, thy grave tick tock I heard in my childhood days, In the solemn night, when the fire burned bright, And the lamp cast feeble rays; When grandmother close by the mantelpiece, Sat dozing or knitting, or carding fleece, Or watching the dying blaze; When mother was young and her beautiful hair Had never a silver thread; When her life was fair as her love was rare, In the years that have swiftly sped.

Thy grave tick tock, dear old Old Clock, Unchanged through the changing years, Still beating time in a ceaseless rhyme To the dirge of the rolling spheres,– Unmindful that she by the mantelpiece Is gone with her knitting and carding fleece,– Unmoved by our sorrowing tears– Brings back the days when mother’s hair Had never a silver thread, And the life still fair in its beauty rare When the snows had crowned her head.

THE OLD SPINNING WHEEL

A cabin! It nestled amid the green hills Where grew no bramble or thistle,– Mid meadows melodious with music and trills And song that the wild-throated mocking bird spills On the air from his marvelous whistle.

No carpets were seen on the broad puncheon floors, No paintings that wealth would reveal; But a statue was there that Art can not know, That filled the rude room with a musical glow,– ‘Twas Ruth at the Old Spinning Wheel!

Long years have pa.s.sed by; its music was stilled At rattle and whirr of machinery.

And the pea-fowl now screams where the mocking bird trilled, And the landscape is dead where once the heart thrilled At wildwood and picturesque scenery.

The opera may boast the diva of song, To me she makes no appeal; To flute obligato my heart is still dumb, But oh! for the song and musical hum Of Ruth and the Old Spinning Wheel!

She lived but a simple, plain rustic life, Yet charming in sooth was her beauty.

In her untutored heart was love ever rife, The seat of no conflict, no struggle or strife ‘Twixt a selfish will and duty.

I bow at her altar of beauty and truth, At the shrine of her heart do I kneel, With a prayer no mortal ever lifted above, Till my soul is atune with the music of love She sings to the Old Spinning Wheel!

This unlettered maiden was poor, but high-bred, Oh, women of fashion far above you!

And I thrilled at the graceful poise of her head And the radiant smile of my love when she said, “Why James, you know that I love you.”

Nymph-like her lithe form swayed as in dance, I awkwardly sat at the reel– A moment’s surcease of monotonous thrum,– Melodious the lull in the song and the hum Of Ruth and the Old Spinning Wheel!

The glow of the incandescent light Has banished the tallow candle; And the ox-cart is gone at steam’s rapid flight, But Love is too subtle, is too recondite For Learning or Genius to handle.

All honor to Science, let her keep her mad pace, I abate not a t.i.ttle her zeal; But the splendors of life can never efface The picture of Ruth in plain rustic grace Who wrought at the Old Spinning Wheel!

THE OLD WATER MILL

‘Twas grinding day at the Old Water Mill, But holiday with me, For I knew ere I reached the foot of the hill And heard the voice of the happy rill, The miller’s beautiful child was there That wore the tresses of sun-lit hair And smile of witchery; And the twittering swallows awhirl in the air, Told in their ecstacy That Rachel, the Golden Daffodil, Was blooming again by the Old Water Mill.

Together we cross the moss-covered log That spans the old mill race, And we hear through the mists and rising fog The boom of the dam, the croak of the frog, That wakes, on the banks of the glinting stream, The violet tranced in her winter dream, Where lights and shadows lace; And the cowslip, like the meteor’s gleam, Darts from her hiding-place, While the cataracts leap in their haste to fill The floats of the wheel at the Old Water Mill.

We sit by the dam of the placid stream And watch the whirl and churn Of the pouring floods that bubble and steam And glitter and flash in the bright sunbeam, While steadily rolls the dripping wheel That slowly grinds the farmers’ meal, Who restless wait their turn; But the lights in the miller’s face reveal Never the least concern, Who takes his toll, and whistles until The hopper is drained at the Old Water Mill.

To-day we pa.s.sed where the Old Water Mill Had stood in the long ago, But the cataracts leap no more on the hill, And the boom of the roaring dam is still, For the gleaming stream in its grief went dry, When the ruthless hand of Art pa.s.sed by And laid the Old Mill low; And the violets, cold in death, now lie Wrapped in the glistening snow; And the biting air is crisp and chill Around the ruins of the Old Water Mill.

And now we sit by the River of Time And gaze at the waves below, But its brink is covered by frost and rime, And we hear on the wind a m.u.f.fled chime Proclaiming the end of a brief sojourn: Yet the floods of life still whirl and churn As the currents ebb and flow:– By the rolling wheel we wait our turn Calm, but ready to go!

The hopper is drained, but unmoved still, The Miller who grinds in Time’s Water Mill.

WATERLOO

A meeting-house, no church at all, With stained cathedral gla.s.s, With lofty spire and arching hall, And terraced lawns of gra.s.s: No organ peals, no chanting choir, No frescoed walls that men admire Had this old meeting-house; But roses wild their petals piled About its sacred door, And locust bloom shed rich perfume, Upon the air, galore, Around the meeting-house.

It stood upon a limpid stream My childhood thought divine, Whose waters pure did ever gleam Like shimmering shine of wine; It stood, alas! but stands no more Upon the bank or pebbly sh.o.r.e Of sunny Pleasant Run; Yet in my dreams, it often seems I see thee, Waterloo, And see the flash of beaded splash Upon the waters too, While crossing Pleasant Run.

Yes, in my dreams, I often hear The songs they used to sing– Those solemn lays of reverent fear, When Christ indeed was King: Then sinners bowed when prayer was led By some poor saint the ravens fed At holy Waterloo.

How free from l.u.s.t, the simple trust Of soul that worshipped there; How free from guile were men erstwhile Whose creed was song and prayer, The creed of Waterloo.

The meeting days were always fair– G.o.d smiled on Waterloo!

And mother rode the dark brown mare, And took the mule colt, too; For fashion then did not beguile A mother’s heart with worldly wile, Ah! happy days agone!

Oh! days no more when mothers wore Sunhood and riding skirt, And fathers dressed their Sunday best, A plain check-cotton-shirt,– Ah! happy days agone!

The sunlight dances on the hills That shelter Waterloo; I see the gold of daffodils That bloom the meadow through– The hour has come, for meeting’s broke, And now the simple country folk Are leaving Waterloo!

The horses neigh; away, away!

Away, but not for home; Grandma to-day will laugh and say, “My boy, my boy has come.”

Oh, blessed Waterloo!

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