Francis William Bourdillon

(22 March 1852 – 13 January 1921 / Runcorn, Cheshire)

The Piper Poem by Francis William Bourdillon


The dews were on the hedges,
The mist was on the mead,
When down among the sedges
I wrought my pipe of reed.
I blew my pipe with power.
Men only cursed the sound
That woke them when the hour
Brought back their labor’s round.

The scythe was in the barley,
The sickle in the wheat;
The pipe I made so early
Had lost its tones so sweet.
And weary man and maiden,
Upon the glowing soil,
My reed-pipe fell upbraiding
That lightened not their toil.

The men had left their mowing,
The maids to bind the sheaves;
I took me for my blowing
A wheatstraw stripped of leaves.
And cares all ceased to cumber,
No voice was now upraised;
I piped them all to slumber,
And in their dreams was praised.

Submitted: Thursday, April 08, 2010

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