By Mary Howitt

When on the breath of Autumn’s breeze,
From pastures dry and brown,
Goes floating, like an idle thought,
The fair, white thistle-down,—
Oh, then what joy to walk at will
Upon the golden harvest-hill!
What joy in dreaming ease to lie
Amid a field new shorn;
And see all round, on sunlit slopes,
The piled-up shocks of corn;
And send the fancy wandering o’er
All pleasant harvest-fields of yore!
I feel the day; I see the field;
The quivering of the leaves;
And good old Jacob, and his house,—
Binding the yellow sheaves!
And at this very hour I seem
To be with Joseph in his dream!
I see the fields of Bethlehem,
And reapers many a one
Bending unto their sickles’ stroke,
And Boaz looking on;
And Ruth, the Moabitess fair,
Among the gleaners stooping there!
Again, I see a little child,
His mother’s sole delight,—
God’s living gift of love unto
The kind, good Shunammite;
To mortal pangs I see him yield,
And the lad bear him from the field.
The sun-bathed quiet of the hills,
The fields of Galilee,
That eighteen hundred years ago
Were full of corn, I see;
And the dear Saviour take his way
‘Mid ripe ears on the Sabbath day.
Oh, golden fields of bending corn,
How beautiful they seem!
The reaper-folk, the piled-up sheaves,
To me are like a dream;
The sunshine, and the very air
Seem of old time, and take me there!

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