Dinah Maria Mulock Craik

(20 April 1826 - 12 October 1887 / Stoke-on-Trent / England)

Thoughts In A Wheat-Field


IN his wide fields walks the Master,
In his fair fields, ripe for harvest,
Where the evening sun shines slant-wise
On the rich ears heavy bending;
Saith the Master: 'It is time.'
Though no leaf shows brown decadence,
And September's nightly frost-bite
Only reddens the horizon,
'It is full time,' saith the Master,
The wise Master, 'It is time.'

Lo, he looks. That look compelling
Brings his laborers to the harvest;
Quick they gather, as in autumn
Passage-birds in cloudy eddies
Drop upon the seaside fields;
White wings have they, and white raiment,
White feet shod with swift obedience,
Each lays down his golden palm branch,
And uprears his sickle shining,
'Speak, O Master,--is it time?'

O'er the field the servants hasten,
Where the full-stored ears droop downwards,
Humble with their weight of harvest:
Where the empty ears wave upward,
And the gay tares flaunt in rows:
But the sickles, the sharp sickles,
Flash new dawn at their appearing,
Songs are heard in earth and heaven,
For the reapers are the angels,
And it is the harvest time.

O Great Master, are thy footsteps
Even now upon the mountains?
Are thou walking in thy wheat-field?
Are the snowy-wingèd reapers
Gathering in the silent air?
Are thy signs abroad, the glowing
Of the distant sky, blood-reddened,--
And the near fields trodden, blighted,
Choked by gaudy tares triumphant,--
Sure, it must be harvest time?

Who shall know the Master's coming?
Whether it be at dawn or sunset,
When night dews weigh down the wheat-ears,
Or while noon rides high in heaven,
Sleeping lies the yellow field?
Only, may thy voice, Good Master,
Peal above the reapers' chorus,
And dull sound of sheaves slow falling,--
'Gather all into My garner,
For it is My harvest time.'

Submitted: Tuesday, April 13, 2010

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