The Lacemaker. Johannes Vermeer. 1671.


Henry van Dyke


Let me but do my work from day to day,

In field or forest, at the desk or loom

In roaring market-place or tranquil room;

Let me but find it in my heart to say,

When vagrant wishes beckon me astray,

“This is my work; my blessing, not my doom;

Of all who live I am the one by whom

This work can best be done in the right way.”

Then shall I see it not too great, nor small,

To suit my spirit and to prove my powers;

Then shall I cheerful greet the laboring hours,

And cheerful turn, when the long shadows fall

At eventide, to play and love and rest,

Because I know for me my work is best.