The Reaper

A poem by William Arthur Dunkerley

All through the blood-red Autumn,
When the harvest came to the full;
When the days were sweet with sunshine,
And the nights were wonderful,--
The Reaper reaped without ceasing.

All through the roaring Winter,
When the skies were black with wrath,
When earth alone slept soundly,
And the seas were white with froth,--
The Reaper reaped without ceasing.

All through the quick of the Spring-time,
When the birds sang cheerily,
When the trees and the flowers were burgeoning,
And men went wearily,--
The Reaper reaped without ceasing.

All through the blazing Summer,
When the year was at its best,
When Earth, subserving God alone,
In her fairest robes was dressed,--
The Reaper reaped without ceasing.

So, through the Seasons' roundings,
While nature waxed and waned,
And only man by thrall of man
Was scarred and marred and stained,--
The Reaper reaped without ceasing.

How long, O Lord, shall the Reaper
Harry the growing field?
Stretch out Thy Hand and stay him,
Lest the future no fruit yield!--
And the Gleaner find nought for His gleaning.

Thy Might alone can end it,--
This fratricidal strife.
Our souls are sick with the tale of death,
Redeem us back to life!--
That the Gleaner be glad in His gleaning.

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