And they were stronger hands than mine
That digged the Ruby from the earth—
More cunning brains that made it worth
The large desire of a King;
And bolder hearts that through the brine
Went down the Perfect Pearl to bring.
Lo, I have wrought in common clay
Rude figures of a rough-hewn race;
For Pearls strew not the market-place
In this my town of banishment,
Where with the shifting dust I play
And eat the bread of Discontent.
Yet is there life in that I make,—
O Thou who knowest, turn and see,
As Thou hast power over me,
So have I power over these,
Because I wrought them for Thy sake,
And breathed in them mine agonies.
Small mirth was in the making. Now
I lift the cloth that clokes the clay,
And, wearied, at Thy feet I lay
My wares ere I go forth to sell.
The long bazar will praise—but Thou—
Heart of my heart, have I done well?