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C.D. Warner, et al., comp. The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

An Epitaph for a Husbandman

By Sir Charles George Douglas Roberts (1860–1943)

From ‘Book of the Native’

HE who would start and rise

Before the crowing cocks,—

No more he lifts his eyes,

Whoever knocks.

He who before the stars

Would call the cattle home,—

They wait about the bars

For him to come.

Him at whose hearty calls

The farmstead woke again,—

The horses in their stalls

Expect in vain.

Busy and blithe and bold,

He labored for the morrow;—

The plow his hands would hold

Rests in the furrow.

His fields he had to leave,

His orchards cool and dim;

The clods he used to cleave

Now cover him.

But the green, growing things

Lean kindly to his sleep;—

White roots and wandering strings,

Closer they creep.

Because he loved them long,

And with them bore his part,

Tenderly now they throng

About his heart.