Thou dost not know it! but to hear
   One word of praise from thee,
There is no pain I would not bear--
   No task too great for me.
My hands could tireless toil all day,
   My feet could tireless run,
If at the close thy lips would say,
   "Brave, noble heart, well done."

Thou dost not know it! but to win
   Approval from thine eyes,
My soul has conquered many a sin,
   And conquering neared tee skies.
And though the reward may not be given,
   In all my earthly days,
I feel that after death--in heaven,
   Thy lips will give me praise.

Thou dost not know--may never know,
   That all I strive to be,
All things praiseworthy that I do,
   I strive, and do, for thee.
And though I seldom see thy face,
   Or touch thy hand, my friend,
Those meetings are the means of grace,
   That help me to the end.

Thou dost not know that thy grand life
   Has been my beacon light.
I aim to conquer in the strife,
   That I may reach thy height.
I strive to live, so that my feet
   May walk the fields most fair,
For the after-life, seems, oh! so sweet,
   Because thou wilt be there.

Thou dost not know how brave and strong
   A woman's heart can be.
But few could hide so well and long
   What mine has hid from thee.
So well, that should this idyl chance
   To meet thine eye, my friend,
Thou'd scan it with a careless glance,
   Nor dream to whom 'twas penned.


Shells by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Milwaukee: Hauser & Storey, 1873.

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