AMONG THE GOLDEN WHEAT by John Russell Hayes

IN these last hours of happy-hearted June,
When dewy clover-heads their fragrance spill,
When all the morn and drowsy afternoon
The clear, pure sunshine sleeps on mead and hill,
On orchards old and gardens green and still,
To bless with fertile heat,—
What joy to wander to some shady height
Where field on field lies spread before the sight,
And muse all day among the golden wheat!

Across the valley go the laden teams,
Piled to the ladder's top with sweet, light hay,
There where the Brandywine ensilvered gleams
As by low willowed banks it makes its way.
In far-off daisy fields as white as they
The young lambs softly bleat;
And little children through the happy hours
By yonder wood are gathering pale wild-flowers,
While I do naught but muse among the wheat.

How pleasant and delightful is it here,
Through this long, fragrant, languid day of June,
To watch the farmers at their harvest cheer
With merry converse and with whistled tune,—
To see them share their simple stores at noon
'Neath some old tree's retreat;—
To see the cattle with dark eyes a-dream
Wade in the cooling currents of the stream,
While I do naught but muse among the wheat!

Great snowy clouds are drifting down the sky,
And o'er the silence of the noon-tide hush
I hear the locust's languorous, hot cry;
From out the green depths of yon pendent bush
There pours the lyric music of the thrush;
And from this shady seat I see the farmer's boys among the corn
Where they have toiling been since early morn,
While I do naught but muse among the wheat.

By mossy fences of this upland farm
The old sweet-briar rose is twining wild;
Dear flower, its old-time fragrance hath a charm
To wake forgotten thoughts and memories mild
Of those far years when as a pensive child
I came with wandering feet
To pluck these flowers, or ramble hand in hand
With him who never more across this land
May gaze or muse among the golden wheat.

Lo, while I dream, the wind stirs in the leaves,—
And hath this lovely day so quickly flown?
The harvesters have left the yellow sheaves,
And I am here upon the hills alone;
One sad ring-dove with melancholy moan
The vesper-hour doth greet.
Across the fields the sun is going down,
It gilds the steeples of the distant town,
And I must cease to muse among the wheat.
Among the Golden Wheat