The Reapers' Song.

A poem by Susanna Moodie

The harvest is nodding on valley and plain,
To the scythe and the sickle its treasures must yield;
Through sunshine and shower we have tended the grain;
'Tis ripe to our hand!--to the field--to the field!
If the sun on our labours too warmly should smile,
Why a horn of good ale shall the long hours beguile.
Then, a largess! a largess!--kind stranger, we pray,
We have toiled through the heat of the long summer day!

With his garland of poppies red August is here,
And the forest is losing its first tender green;
Pale Autumn will reap the last fruits of the year,
And Winter's white mantle will cover the scene.
To the field!--to the field! whilst the Summer is ours
We will reap her ripe corn--we will cull her bright flowers.
Then, a largess! a largess! kind stranger, we pray,
For your sake we have toiled through the long summer day.

Ere the first blush of morning is red in the skies,
Ere the lark plumes his wing, or the dew drops are dry,
Ere the sun walks abroad, must the harvestman rise,
With stout heart, unwearied, the sickle to ply:
He exults in his strength, when the ale-horn is crown'd,
And the reapers' glad shouts swell the echoes around.
Then, a largess! a largess!--kind stranger, we pray,
For your sake we have toiled through the long summer day!

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