Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > An American Anthology, 1787–1900
Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  An American Anthology, 1787–1900.  1900.
460. The Fallow Field
By Julia Caroline Ripley Dorr
THE SUN comes up and the sun goes down;
The night mist shroudeth the sleeping town;
But if it be dark or if it be day,
If the tempests beat or the breezes play,
Still here on this upland slope I lie,        5
Looking up to the changeful sky.
Naught am I but a fallow field;
Never a crop my acres yield.
Over the wall at my right hand
Stately and green the corn-blades stand,        10
And I hear at my left the flying feet
Of the winds that rustle the bending wheat.
Often while yet the morn is red
I list for our master’s eager tread.
He smiles at the young corn’s towering height,        15
He knows the wheat is a goodly sight,
But he glances not at the fallow field
Whose idle acres no wealth may yield.
Sometimes the shout of the harvesters
The sleeping pulse of my being stirs,        20
And as one in a dream I seem to feel
The sweep and the rush of the swinging steel,
Or I catch the sound of the gay refrain
As they heap their wains with the golden grain.
Yet, O my neighbors, be not too proud,        25
Though on every tongue your praise is loud.
Our mother Nature is kind to me,
And I am beloved by bird and bee,
And never a child that passes by
But turns upon me a grateful eye.        30
Over my head the skies are blue;
I have my share of the rain and dew;
I bask like you in the summer sun
When the long bright days pass, one by one,
And calm as yours is my sweet repose        35
Wrapped in the warmth of the winter snows.
For little our loving mother cares
Which the corn or the daisy bears,
Which is rich with the ripening wheat,
Which with the violet ’s breath is sweet,        40
Which is red with the clover bloom,
Or which for the wild sweet-fern makes room.
Useless under the summer sky
Year after year men say I lie.
Little they know what strength of mine        45
I give to the trailing blackberry vine;
Little they know how the wild grape grows,
Or how my life-blood flushes the rose.
Little they think of the cups I fill
For the mosses creeping under the hill;        50
Little they think of the feast I spread
For the wild wee creatures that must be fed:
Squirrel and butterfly, bird and bee,
And the creeping things that no eye may see.
Lord of the harvest, thou dost know        55
How the summers and winters go.
Never a ship sails east or west
Laden with treasures at my behest,
Yet my being thrills to the voice of God
When I give my gold to the golden-rod.        60


Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2015 · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors · World Lit.