The ‘Crochet-Worker.

Suggested by Etty’s Picture in the Exhibition of the
Royal Academy, 1849.

See with what nimble ease her fingers ply1
The coloured threads, that deeper-coloured grow2
By contrast with the hook of ivory,3
And fingers pure as the transparent glow4
That tints the shell, or in the virgin rose5
Blushes in praise of its own loveliness !’ 6
Looping and twisting, dropping with a close,7
In all the beautiful unconsciousness8
Of industry intent. Dear Beauty ! stay9
Thy busy fingers, and look up and bless10
Me with a smile ; from crochet-work I pray11
Spare me a glance ! Yet, no—I must confess12
Thou teachest much by silence. Happiness,13
I see, is occupation ; for thy face14
Is not a blank of pretty thoughtlessness,15
But redolent in innocence and grace.16
Grace to the gracious—goodness to the good !17
Rest in endurance—Hope, submission’s child !18
So God ordains ; and leaves, alas ! the rude19
To chafe in sorrow, by rebellion wild.20
I’ll not be jealous of thy web, dear maid !21
Cast on thy stitches fast and manifold ;22
Let thy mind struggle still in thought, unstayed,23
Unscathed by phantom tempters. I enfold24
Thy image to my dearest memory25
A treasure of the beautiful within26
To teach and mutely preach of industry,27
Saviour subordinate of man from sin !28