Folded Hands.

Sufferer ! on thy couch of pain,1
Hail the hour of ease again ;2
Long by mortal sickness tried,3
By thy sufferings purified,4
Heir of sorrow from thy birth,5
Of the pains and throes of earth,6
Fold thy hands !7
Respite brief of ease and rest,8
Fold them o’er thine aching breast.9
Woman ! o’er whose sunken eyes,10
The last rushlight glimmer dies,11
Lay thine ill-paid toil away,12
Till the morrow’s hungry day ;13
Seek the respite and release,14
Heaven will give in dreams of peace.15
Fold thy hands !16
Earth denies thee food, not rest,17
Fold them o’er thy patient breast !18
Garment of a soul laid by,19
Silent lips and rayless eye,20
Now these mortal hands lay down,21
Spade, or distaff, cross, or crown ;22
Freed one ! fresh from care and strife,23
Finished is thy sum of life ;24
Fold thy lands !25
Ere thou seek’st thy long, last rest,26
Fold them o’er thy pulseless breast,27