Poetry of Kansas

The Fields Of Corn.

The harvest ends, and the song of the reaper
    Dies away to its closing strain.
Skies of the midsummer, hotter and deeper,
    Bend over shorn fields and shocks of grain.
Fierce is the breath of the July weather;
    Tropic heats on the wind are borne;
The grass and the clover are dying together;
    Yet brave and green stands the fields of corn.
Brave and green, and with banners streaming.
    Wooing the breezes at hottest noon;
Wider flung when the world is dreaming.
    Spreading broadly beneath the moon.
The days are cloudless, the air aquiver,
    Palpatant, pulsing with waves of Ileat;
Crispy the aspen leaves qwtke and shiver,
    The cracked earth scorches unwary feet.
The brown thrush, silent, flits through the hedges,
    Mute in their coverts the wood-birds tilde;
Farther the creek shrinks back from its edges,
    The springs cease flowing, the wells are dried.
Still, while the grass and clover are dying,
    With strong roots deep in the prairie's breast.,
Plumed and tassled with banners flying,
    The tall corn tosses each lordly crest.
Enter the field, a forest bangs over;
    Seen from above, 1is a dark green sea,
Gleaming with lights where the sun, like a lover,
    Showers his kisses so fierce and so free.
Lo, through the cornfields a miracle passes,
    Vainly attempted by magic of old.
Sunlight and salts and invisible gasses
    Here are transmitted to bars of gold.
Triumph of alchemy; daily and nightly
    Wrought on the silence before our eyes,
Miracle, yet do we note it lightly;
    Wonders familiar wake no surprise,
Sole dependence of many a toiler,
    Watching the night, noon and morn skies,
Fearing, trembling, lest the drouth, the spoiler,
    Sear with hot fingers the fields of corn.
Still, as yet, while the clover is dying,
    While the buds fail dead e'er the flowers are born,
With life intact, and with banners flying,
    Green and beautiful stands the corn.

__Ellen P. Allerton.

Walls of Corn and Other Poems
Ellen P. Allerton
(Hiawatha, KS: Harrington Printing Company. 1894)
Pages 27-28

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November 27, 2002 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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