Widow McFarlane

Original Text: 
Edgar Lee Masters, Spoon River Anthology, illustrated by Oliver Herford (London: T. Werner Laurie, [1916]): 129. 8-NBI Masters New York Public Library
1I was the Widow McFarlane,
2Weaver of carpets for all the village.
3And I pity you still at the loom of life,
4You who are singing to the shuttle
5And lovingly watching the work of your hands,
6If you reach the day of hate, of terrible truth.
7For the cloth of life is woven, you know,
8To a pattern hidden under the loom --
9A pattern you never see!
10And you weave high-hearted, singing, singing,
11You guard the threads of love and friendship
12For noble figures in gold and purple.
13And long after other eyes can see
14You have woven a moon-white strip of cloth,
15You laugh in your strength, for Hope o'erlays it
16With shapes of love and beauty.
17The loom stops short! The pattern's out!
18You're alone in the room! You have woven a shroud!
19And hate of it lays you in it!
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: