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The Promise of Bread

by C. L. Edson

Out on the frozen uplands, underneath the snow and sleet,
In the bosom of the plowland sleeps the Promise of the Wheat;
With the ice for head-and-footstone, and a snowy shroud outspread
In the frost-locked tomb of winter sleeps the Miracle of Bread.
With its hundred thousand reapers and its hundred thousand men,
And the click of guard and sickle and the flails that turn again, And drover's shout, and snap of whips and creak of horses' tugs,
And a thin red line o' gingham girls that carry water jugs;
And yellow stalks and dagger beards that stab thro' cotton clothes,
And farmer boys a-shocking wheat in long and crooked rows,
And dust-veiled men on mountain stacks, whose pitchforks flash and gleam;
And threshing engines shrieking songs in syllables of steam,
And elevators painted red that lift their giant arms
And beckon to the Harvest God above the brooding farms,
And loaded trains that hasten forth, a hungry world to fill—
All sleeping just beneath the snow, out yonder on the hill.

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