William Ernest Henley

(1849 - 1902 / Gloucester / England)

I am the Reaper


I am the Reaper.
All things with heedful hook
Silent I gather.
Pale roses touched with the spring,
Tall corn in summer,
Fruits rich with autumn, and frail winter blossoms—
Reaping, still reaping—
All things with heedful hook
Timely I gather.

I am the Sower.
All the unbodied life
Runs through my seed-sheet.
Atom with atom wed,
Each quickening the other,
Fall through my hands, ever changing, still changeless.
Ceaselessly sowing,
Life, incorruptible life,
Flows from my seed-sheet.

Maker and breaker,
I am the ebb and the flood,
Here and Hereafter,
Sped through the tangle and coil
Of infinite nature,
Viewless and soundless I fashion all being.
Taker and giver,
I am the womb and the grave,
The Now and the Ever

Submitted: Thursday, January 01, 2004

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Read poems about / on: autumn, winter, summer, spring, nature, life, wedding, change, rose, running

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  • Rookie - 802 Points Leslie Sharp (1/25/2015 4:27:00 PM)

    This poem has special meaning to me! It is a beautiful poem. With what I have been thru this poem meant the world to me. How it came about is a long story! I guess some would say I'm blessed some would say I'm dammed it a matter of opinion I guess. If it even matters anymore! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Dennis Alexander (2/6/2010 6:14:00 AM)

    Do you know, there is so much still to learn
    So much still to understand?
    So much knowledge still to earn,
    So many places still to stand.
    Does this one have anything to do with soul?
    You may be Captain of your soul
    But still the slave of your heart (Report) Reply

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