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A Noble Wife
(from Proverbs 31)
by James Vasquez
More precious than bright rubies is,
A wife of noble character,
And he who searches well will find,
He nothing lacks with her.
Full confident he is that she,
Will do him ever good not harm,
With eager hands she serves his need,
His ardor with her charm.
And wool and flax for children's garb.
That clothed in raiment they might be,
Are neatly spun by distaff and,
Full spindle on her knee.
She brings from ports afar her goods,
And sweet the table that she lays,
Which, early rising, she prepares,
And loving care betrays.
And portions for her servant girls,
Are never lacking for she knows,
With willing hearts they serve the home,
And much to them she owes.
She wisely trades and profit gains,
Then ponders well a distant field,
Exploring reasons for, against,
And buys it for its yield.
And with her earnings then she plants,
A vineyard on its gentle slopes,
And for a harvest rich and full,
She confidently hopes.
Her arms for all her tasks are strong,
Her work with love and vigor done,
Her lamp burns long through many'a night,
Beyond the setting sun.
The poor are welcomed to her home,
And leave not unattended for,
'Tis known by all that none has e'er,
In vain approached her door.
And winter? Little fear she has,
Of swirling wind or stabbing cold,
For all her children scarlet-clad,
Its wondrous sights behold.
Her bed is overlaid 'gainst chill,
And clothed in linen garments fine,
She greets her husband, proud, content,
And sits with him to dine.
And he, when seated at the gates,
With those who in the city dwell,
Finds high regard mongst elders there,
From friend and foe as well.
Both strength and dignity are hers,
As wisely she her part displays,
Her care for household matters such,
She laughs at evil days.
Her children rise and call her blest,
For by her love they prosper well,
Her husband, too, in joyous voice,
Waits not her praise to tell.
"Of women found throughout the land,
Who noble deeds are wont to do,
For all your works and all you are,
None have compared with you."
Now charm misleads the heart of man,
And beauty graces but the young,
Yet she who fears the Lord, in truth,
Her praise will e'er be sung.
And gather, then, both one and all,
Where'er 'tis fitting that we be,
To praise this woman, mother, wife,
In seemly, apt degree.
from the May 2003 Edition of the Jewish Magazine