Page:All quiet along the Potomac and other poems.djvu/297

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THEN AND NOW. 29 1

And the kindly heart never knew at all How the air was stirred by the feeble call Never knew how near, in its robe of white, A childish presence had crept that night.

��THEN AND NOW.

1800.

SWAYING to and fro, see the reapers go, In the shine of the summer weather, And they stop to hear if a lark sings clear, Or they laugh as they jest together.

An unhasting hand girdles sheaf with band,

Slowly gathers the garnered treasure, While the farm-horse waits by the open gates

The slow time of the farmer s pleasure.

When the corn is bound, and there comes the

sound

Of the crows in the stubble calling, Through the wide barn-door gleams the burdened

floor, Sounds the cadence of swift flail falling.

Slowly jogging still over vale and hill,

Golden grist to the mill is carried, And the farmer waits, asking millers rates,

And the news of folks dead or married.

�� �