The winds had hushed at last as by command;
The quiet sky above,
With its grey clouds spread o'er the fallow land,
Sat brooding like a dove
There was no motion in the air, no sound
Within the tree-tops stirred,
Save when some last leaf, fluttering to the ground,
Dropped like a wounded bird:
Or when the swart rooks in a gathering crowd
With clamorous noises wheeled,
Hovering awhile, then swooped with wranglings loud
Down on the stubbly field.
For now the big-thewed horses, toiling slow
In straining couples yoked,
Patiently dragged the ploughshare to and fro
Till their wet haunches smoked.
Till the stiff acre, broken into clods,
Bruised by the harrow's tooth,
Lay lightly shaken, with its humid sods
Ranged into furrows smooth.
There looming lone, from rise to set of sun,
Without or pause or speed,
Solemnly striding by the furrows dun,
The sower sows the seed.
The sower sows the seed, which mouldering,
Deep coffined in the earth,
Is buried now, but with the future spring
Will quicken into birth.
Oh, poles of birth and death! Controlling Powers
Of human toil and need!
On this fair earth all men are surely sowers,
Surely all life is seed!
All life is seed, dropped in Time's yawning furrow,
Which with slow sprout and shoot,
In the revolving world's unfathomed morrow,
Will blossom and bear fruit.