Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895
Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895.  1895.
Mary Howitt (1799–1888)
WHEN on the breath of autumn breeze,
  From pastures dry and brown,
Goes floating like an idle thought
  The fair white thistle-down,
Oh then what joy to walk at will        5
Upon the golden harvest hill!
What joy in dreamy ease to lie
  Amid a field new shorn,
And see all round on sun-lit slopes
  The pil’d-up stacks of corn;        10
And send the fancy wandering o’er
All pleasant harvest-fields of yore.
I feel the day—I see the field,
  The quivering of the leaves,
And good old Jacob and his house        15
  Binding the yellow sheaves;
And at this very hour I seem
To be with Joseph in his dream.
I see the fields of Bethlehem
  And reapers many a one,        20
Bending unto their sickles’ stroke,
  And Boaz looking on;
And Ruth, the Moabite so fair,
Among the gleaners stooping there.
Again I see a little child,        25
  His mother’s sole delight,
God’s living gift of love unto
  The kind good Shunammite;
To mortal pangs I see him yield,
And the lad bear him from the field.        30
The sun-bath’d quiet of the hills,
  The fields of Galilee,
That eighteen hundred years ago
  Were full of corn, I see;
And the dear Saviour takes his way        35
’Mid ripe ears on the Sabbath day.
Oh, golden fields of bending corn,
  How beautiful they seem!
The reaper-folk, the pil’d-up sheaves,
  To me are like a dream.        40
The sunshine and the very air
Seem of old time, and take me there.


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