A reaper in the fields of life
I hastened forth to be
But others gathered the beautiful flowers
And left the thorns to me.
I turned aside and weeping asked
"Are thorns the object of my quest?"
A voice replied: "Yea gather these"
What God appoints is best.
Then meekly I obeyed and found
Each thorn a priceless gem
With bleeding hands I wove a wreath
And lo! a sparkling diadem.
The glorious wreath of flowers bright
All perished in a day,
Before the scorching summer heat
They all were swept away.
My crown composed of thorns and tears
Transformed by hands divine;
Doth now outshine the stars above,
And will forever shine.
--Mattoon, Kentucky, October 19, 1903.
Source: Crittenden Press. (Marion, Ky.), October 22, 1903, Image 9 - Chronicling America - The Library of Congress.