H A R V E S T

GRAVE Autumn comes, with smiling face,
And plenty in her lap,
To crown the blessings of the year,
And make each heart to leap.

With joy we view the bearded grain
Wave yellow o'er the land;
And fields of barley, oats, and pease,
Invite the Reaper's hand.

The rustic Hinds and smirking Maids,
With sickles sharp and clear,
Walk jocund forth unto the fields,
When Morning doth appear.

Beside a field of rip'ned corn,
They then collected stand,
To settle who brings up the rear,
And who shall lead the van.

That done, the Lasses kilt their coats,
The Lads throw their's aside;
Then each one hies him to his place,
And o'er the furrows stride.

The lusty sheaves they, instant, swell
With corn of gen'rous kind;
The busy Master binds them up,
To raise the shocks behind.

Around him oft he turns his eye,
And sees them thick remain,
To crown his hopes, dispel his fears,
And recompence his pain.

And aye he binds the other sheaf,
And picks the other reed;
And often cries, "Lads, laigh and clean,
"Fool haste was never speed."

But soon the prospect's widely chang'd
O'er all the fields and plains;
And where the yellow corn late wav'd,
But stubble, nought remains!

The trees, erewhile with verdure cloth'd,
Now naked are and bare;
The wither'd leaf falls rustling down,
And scares the tim'rous Hare.

The lofty stacks in Barn-yards rise,
In many a tow'ring cone;
Cold North winds now begin to blow,
And forest oaks to groan.

No more refreshing show'rs descend,
Or balmy Zephyrs play:
The sun, fled far beyond the line,
Shoots forth a feeble ray.

While Afric's parch'd and burning plain
His utmost fury feels,
Here flakes of snow begin to fall,
The rivers ice congeals.

But hark! what dismal knell is that,
Which stuns my startled ear!
My guilty soul alarmed shrinks,
With terror and with fear!

Behold the wounded Partridge whirrs,
And strives to get away;
But Ah! she falls! the Sportman flies
To seize his dying prey!

The luckless Bird, with mournful look,
The murderer surveys!
With loosen'd feathers, streaming gore,
She gapes, and faints, and dies!

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