Page:A Kentucky Cardinal.djvu/93

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75

toral land, crossing farm after farm, and keeping as best I can out of sight of the laboring or loitering negroes. For the sight of them ruins every landscape, and I shall never feel myself free till they are gone. What if they sing? The more is the pity that any human being could be happy enough to sing so long as he was a slave in any thought or fibre of his nature.

Sometimes it is through the after-math of fat wheat-fields, where float like myriad little nets of silver gauze the webs of the crafty weavers, and where a whole world of winged small folk flit from tree-top to tree-top of the low weeds. They are all mine—these Kentucky wheat-fields. After the owner has taken from them his last sheaf I come in and gather my harvest also—one that he did not see, and doubtless would not begrudge me—the harvest of beauty. Or I walk beside tufted aromatic hemp-fields, as along the