Harvest (Mackintosh)

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For works with similar titles, see Harvest.

ALONG the dusty highway,
And through the little town,
The people of the country
Are riding up and down.
Behind the lines of fighting
They gather in all day
The harvest, folk are reaping
At home and far away.

If on the hills about us,
Where now the thrush sings low.
The face of earth were bitter.
It would not hurt us so.
Though earth grew strange and savage
And all the world were new.
It would not tear our memory
The way the cornfields do.

Oh, you that fought your battles
Beneath the Southern Cross,
The earth was kinder to you,
You could not feel your loss,
Nor waken every morning
And clear before you see
The grassy fields and meadows
Where you would wish to be.

But in a haunted corn-land
We move, as in a dream
Of quiet hills and hedges
And a swift-flowing stream,
And on the hills about us
Through all the din of war,
The home that we were born in,
And we shall see no more.

Buire-sur-Ancre, 1915