Among the Millet

by Archibald Lampman


 

THE WEAVER


 

All day, all day, round the clacking net
    The weaverís fingers fly:
Gray dreams like frozen mists are set
    In the hush of the weaverís eye;
A voice from the dusk is calling yet,                                          5
    "Oh, come away, or we die!"

Without is a horror of hosts that fight,
    That rest not, and cease not to kill,
The thunder of feet and the cry of the flight,
    A slaughter weird and shrill;                                                 10
Gray dreams are set in the weaverís sight,
    The weaver is weaving still.

"Come away, dear soul, come away or we die;
    Hearíst thou the moan and the rush! Come away;
The people are slain at the gates, and they fly;                     15
    The kind God hath left them this day;
The battle-axes cleaves, and the foemen cry,
    And the red swords swing and slay."

"Nay, wife, what boots to fly from pain,
    When pain is wherever we fly?                                           20
And death is a sweeter thing than a chain:
    íTis sweeter to sleep than to cry,
The kind God giveth the days that wane;
    If the kind God hath said it, I die."

And the weaver wove, and the good wife fled,                     25
    And the city was made a tomb,
And a flame that shook from the rocks overhead
    Shone into that silent room,
And touched like a wide red kiss on the dead
    Brown weaver slain by his loom.                                       30

Yet I think that in some dim shadowy land,
    Where no suns rise or set,
Where the ghost of a whilom loom doth stand
    Round the dusk of its silken net,
Forever flyeth his shadowy hand,                                          35
    And the weaver is weaving yet.