SONG OF THE THRESHER 
By Clarence Hawkes
In the autumn time when the barn is sweet 
With the scent of hay and the fragrant wheat, 
When corn and rye and the slender oats 
Are lying still in their autumn coats,
When loft and mow and the broad deep bay
Are brimming o'er with the grain and hay,
Then the farmer takes from a dusty nail
In the barn or shed his well worn flail.
He oils the joint and he makes it tight,
Then swings it 'round with a boy's delight.
Ah! yes, 'twill do, 'tis the same old stick,
It hangs so neat and it swings so slick,
He must be off to the barn and try
His hand once more at the oats and rye;
And so he stands on the well filled floor
And swings his flail by the big barn door.
Whack, whack, sving, swing,
How the oat straws dance and the rafters ring!
Swing, swing, whack, whack,
Shelling the grain for the empty sack,
Though the back may ache and the muscles crack,
Swing, swing, whack, whack,
Shelling the grain for the empty sack.
He remembers how in the early spring
When the slender sprouts had begun to fling
The crusted dirt from their tender heads
He had watched them there in their lowly beds,
As faithfully as a father would,
As tenderly as a mother could,
He watched them grow in the fertile field,
From blight and plague he was their shield.
Then in July when the air was hot
He saw them grow with a sudden start;
They seemed to lengthen and swell each day—
"I can hear um grow," the farmer would say;
The merry wind with an elfin glee
Said, "This is a field that was made for me,"
And the ripening heads of the grain he tossed
Till they rose and fell like a marching host.
Whack, whack, swing, swing,
How the oat straws dance and the rafters ring!
Swing, swing, whack, whack,
Shelling the grain for the empty sack.
Though the back may ache and the muscles crack,
Swing, swing, whack, whack,
Shelling the grain for the empty sack.
A joy it was to recall the day
When the scythe and sickle came in play,
And the reaper, too, like a chariot bold
Laid the golden grain in the binder's fold,
And gleamed the shocks in the setting sun
Like an army's tents when the march is done;
Then came the teams with their mighty racks
And bore them away to be laid in stacks.




File:Heinrich Bürkel Winterliches Dorf c1865.jpg
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