When I went wandering far from home,
I left a woman in my room
To clean my hearth and floor, and dust
My shelves and pictures, books and bust.
When I came back a welcome glow
Burned in her eyes - her voice was low;
And everything was in its place,
As clean and bright as her own face.
But when I looked more closely there,
The dust was on my dark, bronze hair;
The nose and eyebrows too were white -
And yet the lips were clean and bright.
The years have gone, and so has she,
But still the truth remains with me -
How that hard mouth was once kept clean
By living lips that kissed unseen.