George Santayana

(16 December 1863 - 26 September 1952 / Madrid)

Slowly the Black Earth Gains


Slowly the black earth gains upon the yellow,
And the caked hill-side is ribbed soft with furrows.
Turn now again, with voice and staff, my ploughman,
Guiding thy oxen.

Lift the great ploughshare, clear the stones and brambles,
Plant it the deeper, with thy foot upon it,
Uprooting all the flowering weeds that bring not
Food to thy children.

Patience is good for man and beast, and labour
Hardens to sorrow and the frost of winter.
Turn then again, in the brave hope of harvest,
Singing to heaven.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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