The Book of the Native

by Charles G.D. Roberts


 

An Epitaph for a Husbandman


 

He who would start and rise
    Before the crowing cocks—
No more he lifts his eyes,
    Whoever knocks.

He who before the stars

5
    Would call the cattle home,—
They wait about the bars
    For him to come.

Him at whose hearty calls
    The farmstead woke again

10
The horses in their stalls
    Expect in vain.

Busy, and blithe, and bold,
    He laboured for the morrow,—
The plough his hands would hold

15
    Rusts in the furrow.

His fields he had to leave,
    His orchards cool and dim;
The clods he used to cleave
    Now cover him.

20

But the green, growing things
    Lean kindly to his sleep,—
White roots and wandering strings,
    Closer they creep.

Because he loved them long

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    And with them bore his part,
Tenderly now they throng
    About his heart.