A rainy Sunday so close to St. Patrick’s Day puts me in mind of the works of Winifred M. Letts, a writer of Irish descent who lived most of her life in Dublin. Here is a lovely poem written by Letts, and one of my favorites:
No angel is so high
But serveth clowns and kings
And doeth lowly things;
He in this serviceable love can see
The symbol of some heavenly mystery, —
So common things grow wings.
No angel bravely dressed
In larkspur-coloured gown,
But he will bend him down
And sweep with careful art the meanest floor,
Singing the while he sweeps and toiling more
Because he wears a crown.
Set water on to boil,
An angel helps thee straight;
Kneeling beside the grate
With pursed mouth he bloweth up the flame,
Chiding the tardy kettle that for shame
Would make an angel wait.
Make thou conserves, the while
Two little cherubs stand
Tip-toe at either hand,
And one would help thee stir, and one would skim
The golden juice that foams about the brim,
So serveth thy command.
And that same toil-worn broom
So humble in thine eyes,
Perchance has donned disguise
And is a seraph on this errand bent,
To show thee service is a sacrament
And Love wears servant’s guise.