صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

THE SONG OF THE SOWER.

Till man, by love and mercy taught,
Shall rue the wreck his fury wrought,

And lay the sword away.

Oh strew, with pausing, shuddering hand,
The seed upon the helpless land,

As if, at every step, ye cast

The pelting hail and riving blast.

IV.

Nay, strew, with free and joyous sweep,
The seed upon the expecting soil;
For hence the plenteous year shall heap
The garners of the men who toil.

Strew the bright seed for those who tear
The matted sward with spade and share,
And those whose sounding axes gleam
Beside the lonely forest stream,

Till its broad banks lie bare;
And him who breaks the quarry-ledge,

With hammer-blows, plied quick and strong,
And him who, with the steady sledge,
Smites the shrill anvil all day long.

Sprinkle the furrow's even trace

For those whose toiling hands uprear

The roof-trees of our swarming race,

By grove and plain, by stream and mere; Who forth, from crowded city, lead

The lengthening street, and overlay Green orchard plot and grassy mead

With pavement of the murmuring way. Cast, with full hands, the harvest cast, For the brave men that climb the mast,

83

When to the billow and the blast

It swings and stoops, with fearful strain, And bind the fluttering mainsail fast, Till the tossed bark shall sit, again,

Safe as a seabird in the main.

[ocr errors]

Fling wide the grain for those who throw
The clanking shuttle to and fro,
In the long row of humming rooms,

And into ponderous masses wind
The web that, from a thousand looms,
Comes forth to clothe mankind.

Strew, with free sweep, the grain for them,
By whom the busy thread
Along the garment's even hem
And winding seam is led;

A pallid sisterhood, that keep
The lonely lamp alight,

In strife with weariness and sleep,

Beyond the middle night.

Large part be theirs in what the year
Shall ripen for the reaper here.

VI.

Still strew, with joyous hand, the wheat
On the soft mould beneath our feet;
For even now I seem

To hear a sound that lightly rings
From murmuring harp and viol's strings,
As in a summer dream.

THE SONG OF THE SOWER.

The welcome of the wedding guest,

The bridegroom's look of bashful pride,
The faint smile of the pallid bride,
And bridemaid's blush at matron's jest,
And dance and song and generous dower,
Are in the shining grains we shower.

VII.

Scatter the wheat for shipwrecked men,
Who, hunger-worn, rejoice again

In the sweet safety of the shore,
And wanderers, lost in woodlands drear,
Whose pulses bound with joy to hear
The herd's light bell once more.

Freely the golden spray be shed

For him whose heart, when night comes down
On the close alleys of the town,

Is faint for lack of bread.

In chill roof chambers, bleak and bare,

Or the damp cellar's stifling air,
She who now sees, in mute despair,
Her children pine for food,

Shall feel the dews of gladness start
To lids long tearless, and shall part
The sweet loaf, with a grateful heart,
Among her thin, pale brood.
Dear, kindly Earth, whose breast we till!
Oh, for thy famished children, fill,

Where'er the sower walks,

Fill the rich ears that shade the mould

With grain for grain, a hundredfold,

To bend the sturdy stalks.

85

VIII.

Strew silently the fruitful seed,
As softly o'er the tilth ye tread,
For hands that delicately knead
The consecrated bread,

The mystic loaf that crowns the board,
When, round the table of their Lord,
Within a thousand temples set,

In memory of the bitter death

Of Him who taught at Nazareth,

His followers are met,

And thoughtful eyes with tears are wet,

As of the Holy One they think,

The glory of whose rising yet

Makes bright the grave's mysterious brink.

IX.

Brethren, the sower's task is done;

The seed is in its winter bed.

Now let the dark brown mould be spread,

To hide it from the sun,

And leave it to the kindly care

Of the still earth and brooding air;
As when the mother, from her breast,
Lays the hushed babe apart to rest,
And shades its eyes and waits to sce
How sweet its waking smile will be.

The tempest now may smite, the sleet
All night on the drowned furrow beat,
And winds that, from the cloudy hold

THE SONG OF THE SOWER.

Of winter, breathe the bitter cold,
Stiffen to stone the mellow mould,

Yet safe shall lie the wheat :
Till, out of heaven's unmeasured blue,
Shall walk again the genial year,

To wake with warmth and nurse with dew
The germs we lay to slumber here.

X.

Oh blessed harvest yet to be!

Abide thou with the love that keeps,

In its warm bosom, tenderly,

The life which wakes and that which sleeps.

The love that leads the willing spheres

Along the unending track of years,
And watches o'er the sparrow's nest,

Shall brood above thy winter rest,

And raise thee from the dust, to hold

Light whisperings with the winds of May,

And fill thy spikes with living gold,
From summer's yellow ray.

Then, as thy garners give thee forth,
On what glad errands shalt thou go,
Wherever, o'er the waiting earth,

Roads wind and rivers flow.

The ancient East shall welcome thee

To mighty marts beyond the sea,

And they who dwell where palm groves sound
To summer winds the whole year round,
Shall watch, in gladness, from the shore,
The sails that bring thy glittering store.

87

« السابقةمتابعة »