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Dinah Maria Craik (Дина Мария Крейк)

The Path Through the Corn

WAVY and bright in the summer air,
Like a pleasant sea when the wind blows fair,
And its roughest breath has scarcely curled
The green highway to a distant world,--
Soft whispers passing from shore to shore,
As from hearts content, yet desiring more--
Who feels forlorn,
Wandering thus down the path through the corn?

A short space since, and the dead leaves lay
Mouldering under the hedgerow gray,
Nor hum of insect, nor voice of bird,
O'er the desolate field was ever heard;
Only at eve the pallid snow
Blushed rose-red in the red sun-glow;
Till, one blest morn,
Shot up into life the young green corn.

Small and feeble, slender and pale,
It bent its head to the winter gale,
Hearkened the wren's soft note of cheer,
Hardly believing spring was near:
Saw chestnuts bud out and campions blow,
And daisies mimic the vanished snow
Where it was born,
On either side of the path through the corn.

The corn, the corn, the beautiful corn,
Rising wonderful, morn by morn:
First, scarce as high as a fairy's wand,
Then, just in reach of a child's wee hand;
Then growing, growing, tall, brave, and strong:
With the voice of new harvests in its song;
While in fond scorn
The lark out-carols the whispering corn.

A strange, sweet path, formed day by day,
How, when, and wherefore, we cannot say,
No more than of our life-paths we know,
Whither they lead us, why we go;
Or whether our eyes shall ever see
The wheat in the ear or the fruit on the tree;
Yet, who's forlorn?--
He who watered the furrows can ripen the corn.

Dinah Maria Craik's other poems:
  1. In Swanage Bay
  2. The House of Clay
  3. Westward Ho!
  4. Rothesay Bay
  5. A Word in Season

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