My life is a grey thread,
A thin grey stretched out thread, 
And when I trace its course, I moan: 
How dull! How dead!

But I have gay beads.
A pale one to begin,
A blue one for my painted dreams, 
And one for sin,
Gold with coiled marks,
Like a snake’s skin.

For love an odd bead 
With a deep purple glow;
A green bead for a secret thing 
That few shall know;
And yellow for my thoughts 
That melt like snow.

A red bead for my strength,
And crimson for my hate;
Silver for the songs I sing 
When I am desolate;
And white for my laughter 
That mocks dull fate.

My life is a grey thread 
Stretching through Time’s day;
But I have slipped gay beads on it 
To hide the grey.

From On a Grey Thread (Will Ransom, 1923) by Elsa Gidlow. This poem is in the public domain.