Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > Anthology of Massachusetts Poets
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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. (1878–1962).  Anthology of Massachusetts Poets.  1922.
 
Harvest-Moon: 1914
 
Josephine Preston Peabody
 
 
OVER the twilight field,
The overflowing field,—
Over the glimmering field,
And bleeding furrows with their sodden yield
Of sheaves that still did writhe,        5
After the scythe;
The teeming field and darkly overstrewn
With all the garnered fulness of that noon—
Two looked upon each other.
One was a Woman men called their mother;        10
And one, the Harvest-Moon.
 
And one, the Harvest-Moon,
Who stood, who gazed
On those unquiet gleanings where they bled;
Till the lone Woman said:        15
“But we were crazed …
We should laugh now together, I and you,
We two.
You, for your dreaming it was worth
A star’s while to look on and light the Earth;        20
And I, forever telling to my mind,
Glory it was, and gladness, to give birth
To humankind!
Yes, I, that ever thought it not amiss
To give the breath to men,        25
For men to slay again:
Lording it over anguish but to give
My life that men might live
For this.
You will be laughing now, remembering        30
I called you once Dead World, and barren thing,
Yes, so we named you then,
You, far more wise
Than to give life to men.”
 
Over the field, that there        35
Gave back the skies
A shattered upward stare
From blank white eyes,—
Striving awhile, through many a bleeding dune
Of throbbing clay, but dumb and quiet soon,        40
She looked; and went her way—
The Harvest-Moon.
 

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