Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
 
846. The Wind-Swept Wheat
 
By Mary Ainge De Vere (“Madeline Bridges”)
 
 
FAINT, faint and clear,
Faint as the music that in dreams we hear
Shaking the curtain-fold of sleep,
That shuts away
The world’s hoarse voice, the sights and sounds of day,        5
Her sorry joys, her phantoms false and fleet,—
So softly, softly stirs
The wind’s low murmur in the rippled wheat.
 
From west to east
The warm breath blows, the slender heads droop low        10
As if in prayer;
Again, more lightly tossed in merry play,
They bend and bow and sway
With measured beat,
But never rest,—through shadow and through sun        15
Goes on the tender rustle of the wheat.
 
Dreams more than sleep
Fall on the listening heart and lull its care;
Dead years send back
Some treasured, unforgotten tune.        20
Ah, long ago,
When sun and sky were sweet,
In happy noon,
We stood breast-high, mid waves of ripened grain,
And heard the wind make music in the wheat.        25
 
Not for to-day—
Not for this hour alone—the melody
So soft and ceaseless thrills the dreamer’s ear:
Of all that was and is, of all that yet shall be,
It holds a part.        30
Love, sorrow, longing, pain,
The restlessness that yearns,
The thirst that burns,
The bliss that like a fountain overflows,
The deep repose,        35
Good that we might have known, but shall not know,
The hope God took, the joy He made complete,—
Life’s chords all answer from the windswept wheat!
 

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