Those Willing Hands

By Kate Slaughter McKinney

Those willing hands—they’re still to-night—
The life has from them fled;
They’re folded from the longing sight,
So cold and pale and dead.
The busy veins have idle grown,
Like a long famished rill,
That once in such an eager tone
Called soft from hill to hill.

Dear hands, I’ve felt their pressure oft,
In a sad time gone by;
They moved about the years as soft
As clouds move through the sky.
They screened the rainstorm from my heart,
And let the moonlight in,
And showed, while shadows fell athwart,
Tracks where the sun had been.

They were such willing, willing hands,
They stilled the mournful tear,
Unwound the pattern of God’s plans,
And made his problems clear.
They did not reach to high-grown bowers,
Where rarest blossoms bloom;
But culled the blessed, purer flowers,
And bore them to the tomb.

Poor hands—they are so still and white,
The rose that shared their rest
Is shrinking from the long, dark night,
And falling on her breast.
The wreath is wilted on the mound
Where long the sunshine stands,
But angels have the sleeper found,
And clasped those willing hands.

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