Small is my secret–let it pass–
Small in your life the share I had,
Who sat beside you in the class,
Awed by the bright superior lad:
Whom yet with hot and eager face
I prompted when he missed his place.
For you the call came swift and soon:
But sometimes in your holidays
You meet me trudging home at noon
To dinner through the dusty ways,
And recognized, and with a nod
Passed on, but never guessed–thank God!
Truly our ways were separate.
I bent myself to hoe and drill,
Yea, with an honest man to mate,
Fulfilling God Almighty’s will;
And bore him children. But my prayers
Were yours–and, only after, theirs.
While you–still loftier, more remote,
You sprang from stair to stair of fame,
And you’ve a riband on your coat,
And you’ve a title to your name;
But have you yet a star to shine
Above your bed, as I o’er mine?