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Poem by Sidney Lanier

The Waving of the Corn

        PLOUGHMAN, whose gnarly hand yet kindly wheeled 
    Thy plough to ring this solitary tree 
        With clover, whose round plat, reserved a-field, 
    In cool green radius twice my length may be- 
        Scanting the corn thy furrows else might yield, 
    To pleasure August, bees, fair thoughts, and me, 
        That here come oft together-daily I, 
        Stretched prone in summer's mortal ecstasy, 
    Do stir with thanks to thee, as stirs this morn 
               With waving of the corn.

        Unseen, the farmer's boy from round the hill 
    Whistles a snatch that seeks his soul unsought, 
        And fills some time with tune, howbeit shrill; 
    The cricket tells straight on his simple thought- 
        Nay, 'tis the cricket's way of being still; 
    The peddler bee drones in, and gossips naught; 
        Far down the wood, a one-desiring dove 
        Times me the beating of the heart of love: 
    And these be all the sounds that mix, each morn, 
              With waving of the corn.

        From here to where the louder passions dwell, 
    Green leagues of hilly separation roll: 
        Trade ends where yon far clover ridges swell. 
    Ye terrible Towns, ne'er claim the trembling soul 
        That, craftless all to buy or hoard or sell, 
    From out your deadly complex quarrel stole 
        To company with large amiable trees, 
        Suck honey summer with unjealous bees, 
    And take Time's strokes as softly as this morn 
              Takes waving of the corn. 

Sidney Lanier

Sidney Lanier's other poems:
  1. A Sea-Shore Grave. To M. J. L.
  2. A Song of the Future
  3. Nilsson
  4. The Wedding
  5. Thou and I

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