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

The Harvest

By Paul Déroulède (1846–1914)

From ‘Chants du Paysan’: Translation of Thomas Walsh

THE WHEAT, the hardy wheat is rippling on the breeze.

’Tis our great mother’s sacred mantle spread afar,

Old Earth revered, who gives us life, in whom we are,

We the dull clay the living God molds as he please.

The wheat, the hardy wheat bends down its heavy head,

Blessèd and consecrate by the Eternal hand;

The stalks are green although the yellow ears expand:

Keep them, O Lord, from ’neath the tempest’s crushing tread!

The wheat, the hardy wheat spreads like a golden sea

Whose harvesters—bent low beneath the sun’s fierce light,

Stanch galley-slaves, whose oar is now the sickle bright—

Cleave down the waves before them falling ceaselessly.

The wheat, the hardy wheat ranged in its serried rows,

Seems like some noble camp upon the distant plain.

Glory to God!—the crickets chirp their wide refrain;

From sheaf to sheaf the welcome bread-song sweeping goes.