292 THEN AND NOW.
When the sacks of snow into biscuits blow,
There is time for their rising given; For the mystic spell modern grocers sell
Was unknown in the days of leaven.
Quick work, sir ! That biscuit, as light as a feather, Was only a wheat-ear five minutes ago ! *
A match against time worth any man s watching, From golden wheat growing to edible snow.
Twas fair, sir, to see, in the beautiful morning, The grain bow itself to a mastering will ;
Watch the wheels of the reaper go over the stubble ; Hear the swish of the knife in the summer air still.
Quick hands on the line caught the new-fallen treasure,
Swiftly bore it away to the thresher s sure stroke, Till each little grain shook itself, full of wonder
At the pitiful loss of its golden-hued cloak.
Then away to the mill and the miller in waiting The horse seemed to fly with his load on his back ;
His hoof-beats were taps on the bridge underneath
him, The hand on the bridle no moment felt slack.
A whir of the mill ; less than two minutes counted ; Back again like the wind to the wide kitchen-door,
- The feat of a Carrollton (Mo.) farmer s family.