THE noon was as a crystal bowl
The red wine mantled through;
Around it like a Viking’s beard
The red-gold hazes blew,
As tho’ he quaffed the ruddy draught
While swift his galley flew.
This mighty Viking was the Night;
He sailed about the earth,
And called the merry harvest-time
To sing him songs of mirth;
And all on earth or in the sea
To melody gave birth.
The valleys of the earth were full
To rocky lip and brim
With golden grain that shone and sang
When woods were still and dim,
A little song from sheaf to sheaf-
Sweet Plenty’s cradle-hymn.
O gallant were the high tree-tops,
And gay the strain they sang!
And cheerfully the moon-lit hills
Their echo-music rang!
And what so proud and what so loud
As was the ocean’s clang!
But O the little humming song
That sang among the sheaves!
‘Twas grander than the airy march
That rattled thro’ the leaves,
And prouder, louder, than the deep,
Bold clanging of the waves:
‘The lives of men, the lives of men
With every sheaf are bound!
We are the blessing which annuls
The curse upon the ground!
And he who reaps the Golden Grain
The Golden Love hath found.’