The Fields Of Corn

By Ellen P. Allerton

The harvest ends, and the song of the reaper
Dies away to its closing strain.
Skies of the midsummer, hotter and deeper,
Bend over shorn fields and shocks of grain.
Fierce is the breath of the July weather;
Tropic heats on the wind are borne;
The grass and the clover are dying together;
Yet brave and green stands the fields of corn.
Brave and green, and with banners streaming,
Wooing the breezes at hottest noon;
Wider flung when the world is dreaming.
Spreading broadly beneath the moon.
The days are cloudless, the air aquiver,
Palpatant, pulsing with waves of heat;
Crispy the aspen leaves quake and shiver,
The cracked earth scorches unwary feet.
The brown thrush, silent, flits through the hedges,
Mute in their coverts the wood-birds hide;
Farther the creek shrinks back from its edges,
The springs cease flowing, the wells are dried.
Still, while the grass and clover are dying,
With strong roots deep in the prairie’s breast,
Plumed and tassled with banners flying,
The tall corn tosses each lordly crest.
Enter the field, a forest hangs over;
Seen from above, ’tis a dark green sea,
Gleaming with lights where the sun, like a lover,
Showers his kisses so fierce and so free.
Lo, through the cornfields a miracle passes,
Vainly attempted by magic of old.
Sunlight and salts and invisible gasses
Here are transmitted to bars of gold.
Triumph of alchemy; daily and nightly
Wrought on tlie silence before our eyes
Miracle, yet do we note it lightly;
Wonders familiar wake no surprise.
Sole dependence of many a toiler,
Watching the night, noon and morn skies,
Fearing, trembling, lest the drouth, the spoiler,
Sear with hot fingers the fields of corn.
Still, as yet, while the clover is dying,
While the buds fall dead e’er the flowers are born.
With life intact, and with banners flying,
Green and beautiful stands the corn.

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