A pool of broken sunbeams lay
Upon the passage-floor,
Radiant and rich, profound and gay
As ever diamond bore.
Small, flitting hands a handkerchief
Spread like a cunning trap:
Prone lay the gorgeous jewel-sheaf
In the glory-gleaner’s lap!
Deftly she folded up the prize,
With lovely avarice;
Like one whom having had made wise,
She bore it off in bliss.
But ah, when for her prisoned gems
She peeped, to prove them there,
No glories broken from their stems
Lay in the kerchief bare!
For still, outside the nursery door,
The bright persistency,
A molten diadem on the floor,
Lay burning wondrously.
How oft have I laid fold from fold
And peered into my mind–
To see of all the purple and gold
Not one gleam left behind!
The best of gifts will not be stored:
The manna of yesterday
Has filled no sacred miser-hoard
To keep new need away.
Thy grace, O Lord, it is thyself;
Thy presence is thy light;
I cannot lay it on my shelf,
Or take it from thy sight.
For daily bread we daily pray–
The want still breeds the cry;
And so we meet, day after day,
Thou, Father in heaven, and I.
Is my house dreary, wall and floor,
Will not the darkness flit,
I go outside my shadowy door
And in thy rainbow sit.