Work Enough to Do

Image from Furnishing a Fabulous Life


The blackbird early leaves its rest,
To meet the smiling morn,
And gathering fragments for its nest
From upland, wood and lawn;
The busy bee that wings its way,
‘Mid sweets of varied hue,
At every flower would seem to say —
“There’s work enough to do.”

The cowslip and the spreading vine,
The daisy in the grass,
The snow-drop and the eglantine,
Preach sermons as we pass;
The ant within its cavern deep,
Would bid up labor too,
And writes upon its tiny heap —
“There’s work enough to do.”

To have a heart for those who weep,
The sottish drunkard win;
To rescue all the children deep
In ignorance and sin;
To help the poor, the hungry feed,
To give him coat and shoe,
To see that all can write and read,
“There’s work enough to do.”

The time is short — the world is wide,
And much has to be done;
This wond’rous earth, and all its pride,
Will vanish with the sun!
The moments fly on lightning wings,
And life’s uncertain too;
We’ve none to waste on foolish things —
“There’s work enough to do.”

The planets, at their Maker’s will,
Move onward to their cars,
For nature’s wheel is never still —
Progressive as the stars!
The leaves that flutter in the air,
And summer breezes woo,
One solemn truth to man declare —
“There’s work enough to do.”

Who then can sleep when all around
Is active, fresh and free?
Shall man — creation’s lord — be found
Less busy than the bee?
Our courts and alleys are the field,
If men would search them through
The best the sweets of labor yield,
And “work enough to do.”

The Petersburg Index (Petersburg, Virginia) Mar 27, 1867

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