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Poem by Alice Dunbar-Nelson


I Sit and Sew


I sit and sewa useless task it seems,
My hands grown tired, my head weighed down with dreams
The panoply of war, the martial tred of men,
Grim-faced, stern-eyed, gazing beyond the ken
Of lesser souls, whose eyes have not seen Death,
Nor learned to hold their lives but as a breath
ButI must sit and sew.

I sit and sewmy heart aches with desire
That pageant terrible, that fiercely pouring fire
On wasted fields, and writhing grotesque things
Once men. My soul in pity flings
Appealing cries, yearning only to go
There in that holocaust of hell, those fields of woe
ButI must sit and sew.

The little useless seam, the idle patch;
Why dream I here beneath my homely thatch,
When there they lie in sodden mud and rain,
Pitifully calling me, the quick ones and the slain?
You need me, Christ! It is no roseate dream
That beckons methis pretty futile seam,
It stifles meGod, must I sit and sew?



Alice Dunbar-Nelson


Alice Dunbar-Nelson's other poems:
  1. Impressions
  2. Amid the Roses
  3. Paul to Virginia
  4. Chalmetle
  5. Three Thoughts


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