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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908). A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895. 1895.

William James Linton 1812–97



BE patient, O be patient! Put your ear against the earth;

Listen there how noiselessly the germ o’ the seed has birth;

How noiselessly and gently it upheaves its little way

Till it parts the scarcely-broken ground, and the blade stands up in the day.

Be patient, O be patient! the germs of mighty thought

Must have their silent undergrowth, must underground be wrought;

But, as sure as ever there ’s a Power that makes the grass appear,

Our land shall be green with Liberty, the blade-time shall be here.

Be patient, O be patient! go and watch the wheat-ears grow,

So imperceptibly that ye can mark nor change nor throe:

Day after day, day after day till the ear is fully grown;

And then again day after day, till the ripen’d field is brown.

Be patient, O be patient! though yet our hopes are green,

The harvest-field of Freedom shall be crown’d with the sunny sheen.

Be ripening, be ripening! mature your silent way

Till the whole broad land is tongued with fire on Freedom’s harvest day.