Or purse-proud owner of stocks,
Don't sneer at the labors of woman,
Or smile at her bundle of socks.
Her heart may be larger and braver
Than his who is tallest of all,
The work of her hands as important
As cash that buys powder and ball.
And thus while her quiet performance
Is being recorded in rhyme,
The tools in her tremulous fingers
Are running a race with Time.
Strange that four needles can form
A perfect triangular bound;
And equally strange that their antics
Result in perfecting “the round.”
And now, while beginning “to narrow,”
She thinks of the Maryland mud,
And wonders if ever the stocking
Will wade to the ankle in blood.
And now she is “shaping the heelt”
And now she ready is “to bind,”
And hopes if the soldier is wounded,
It never will be from behind.
And now she is “raising the instep,”
Now “narrowing off at the toe,”
And prays that this end of the worsted
May ever be turned to the foe.
She “gathers” the last of the stitches,
As if a new laurel were won,
And placing the ball in the basket,
Announces the stocking as “done.”
Ye men who are fighting our battles,
Away from the comforts of life,
Who thoughtfully muse by your camp-fires,
On sweetheart, or sister, or wife;
Just think of their elders a little,
And pray for the grandmothers too,
Who, patiently sitting in corners,
Are knitting the stockings for you.