Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. V. Browning to Rupert Brooke
Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. V. Browning to Rupert Brooke
By John Addington Symonds (1840–1893)
THE WEST is purple, and a golden globe,
  Sphered with new-risen moonlight, hangs between
The skirts of evening’s amethystine robe
  And the round world bathed in the steady sheen.
  There bending o’er a sickle bright and keen,        5
Rests from his long day’s labour one whose eyes
Are fixed upon the large and luminous skies.
An earnest man he seems, with yellow hair,
  And yellow ’neath his scythe-sweep are the sheaves;
Much need hath he to waste the nights with care,        10
  Lest waking he should hear from dripping eaves
  The plash of rain, or hail among thin leaves,
Or melancholy waitings of a wind,
That lays broad field and furrow waste behind:
Much need hath he the live-long day to toil,        15
  Sweeping the golden granaries of the plain,
Until he garner all the summer’s spoil,
  And store his gaping barns with heavy grain;
  Then will he sleep, nor heed the plash of rain,
But with gay wassail and glad winter cheer        20
Steel a stout heart against the coming year.

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