Nonfiction > E.C. Stedman & E.M. Hutchinson, eds. > A Library of American Literature > 1835–1860
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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps.  A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes.  1891.
Vols. VI–VIII: Literature of the Republic, Part III., 1835–1860
 
Milking-Time
By William Wallace Harney (1831–1912)
 
            THE SUN is low and the sky is red;
              Over meadows in rick and mow,
            And out of the lush grass overfed,
              The cattle are winding slow;
            A milky fragrance about them breathes        5
              As they loiter one by one,
            Over the fallow and out of the sheaths
              Of the lake-grass in the sun.
And hark, in the distance, the cattle-bells, how musically they steal,—
Jo, Redpepper, Brindle, Browny, and Barleymeal!        10
 
            From standing in shadowy pools at noon
              With the water udder-deep,
            In the sleepy rivers of easy June,
              With the skies above asleep,—
            Just a leaf astir on orange or oak,        15
              And the palm-flower thirsting in halves,—
            They wait for the signs of the falling smoke,
              And the evening bleat of the calves.
And hark, in the distance, the cattle-bells, how musically they steal,—
Jo, Redpepper, Brindle, Browny, and Barleymeal!        20
 
            O wife, whose wish still lingers and grieves
              In the chimes that go and come,
            For peace and rest in the twilight eves
              When the cattle are loitering home,
            How little we knew, in the deepening shades,        25
              How far our ways would lie,—
            My own alone in the everglades
              And your home there in the sky;
Nor how I would listen alone to the old familiar peal,—
Jo, Redpepper, Brindle, Browny, and Barleymeal!        30
 
 
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