“I have no time for those things now,” we say;
“But in the future just a little way,
No longer by this ceaseless toil oppressed,
I shall have leisure then for thought and rest.
When I the debts upon my land have paid,
Or on foundations firm my business laid,
I shall take time for discourse long and sweet
With those beloved who round my hearthstone meet;
I shall take time on mornings still and cool
To that great Soul in whom we live and move.
All this I shall do sometime but not now–
The press of business cares will not allow.”
And thus our life glides on year after year;
The promised leisure never comes more near.
Is high, and its attainment slow to find;
Or if we reach the mark that we have set,
We still would seek another, farther yet.
Thus all our youth, our strength, our time go past
And back unto our Maker we must give
The life we spent preparing well to live.
Effie Waller Smith was born in Pike County, Kentucky, in 1879. Her parents, both former slaves, insisted that Smith and her siblings receive the highest quality education available. After attending Kentucky State University, Smith began submitting her work, and published three volumes of poetry before her death in 1960.
Thank you, Johannah Banham, for introducing me to this thoughtful woman!