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.


--Mrs. Ida M. Roberts

Mattoon, Ky. October 19, 1903


Source:  Crittenden Press. (Marion, Ky.), October 22, 1903, Image 9 - Chronicling America - The Library of Congress.