"Rest" by Father [Abram J.] Ryan
Source of witness transcribed: The Charleston Daily News (Charlestown, South Carolina)
Date of witness transcribed: 11 September 1872
Notes about this poem: "Rest" was printed in at least 192 newspapers during the nineteenth century. It can be found using ID 189442 in this table of most widely-reprinted poems.
There is more about this poem and its author at the digital editing of Prudence Person's Scrapbook compiled by Ashley Reed's students at UNC.
- My feet are wearied, and my hands are tired—
- My soul oppressed—
- And with desire have I long desired
- ‘Tis hard to toil—when toil is almost vain
- In barren ways;
- ‘Tis hard to sow, and never garner grain
In harvest days.
- The burden of my days is hard to bear—
- But God knows best.
- And I have prayed—but vain has been my prayer,
For Rest—sweet Rest.
- ‘Tis hard to plant in spring, and never reap
- The autumn yield;
- ‘Tis hard to till—and when ‘tis tilled to weep
O’er fruitless field.
- And so I cry a weak and human cry,
- So heart oppressed;
- And so I sigh a weak and human sigh
For Rest—for Rest.
- My way has wound across the desert years,
- And cares infest
- My path, and thro’ the flowing of hot tears
I pine for Rest.
- ‘Twas always so; when still a child, I laid
- On mother’s breast
- My wearied little head; e’en then I prayed,
As now, for Rest
- And I am restless still; ‘twill soon be o’er;
- For, down the West,
- Life’s sun is setting, and I see the shore
- Where I shall Rest.