An Exquisite Little Poem In Dickens' "Household Words"
Hail to thee, the Workman's Friend,
We wreathe thy brow with roses!
While thy useful page we tend,
Weary heart reposes.
Welcome! flowers all fresh and sweet
Cull'st thou for the masses;
Life's worn traveller will thee greet,
Reading as he passes.
Treads thy weekly round the wise;
Comes the workman to thee,
Free as gent's or lords who rise
From gilded page to sue thee.
Thou from Labour's sons dost earn
Many a heart-felt blessing;
And receiv'st from them in turn
Welcome and caressing.
Fair thy rising fame ascends,
Like Latona's daughter,
Till the full-orb'd radiance lends
Light to land and water.
When thou scannest written page,
Glancing o'er thy table,
Light shall fall thy censure's rage,
Soft on wights unable.
Matrons love thy household lore;
Public seems to pet thee;
Critic, with his caustic store,
Seeketh not to fret thee.
Cool, and free from party strife,
Friend of progress steady-
O'er thy editorial life
Watcheth dame and lady.
To thy page the star of love,
Maiden fair doth bend her;
Mothers' minds thy fancies move—
Earnest, true, and tender.
Bounteous spirit! thou hast won
Just decreed ovation;
Thine the page to admit and own
Worth in humblest station.
Ne'er shall Envy's blighting fog—
Stricture made in malice—
Nought thy patriot efforts clog—
Success brims the chalice!
Heaven be in thy inmost ken,
Thou that nobly darest
To assert that men are men
When the garb is barest!