Fugitive Verses
Popular Reprinted Poetry from Nineteenth Century Newspapers

"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.

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Rest

  • My feet are wearied, and my hands are tired—
  • My soul oppressed—
  • And with desire have I long desired
  • Rest—only Rest.

  • ‘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.