Josephine Preston Peabody

(1874-1922 / United States)

Harvest Moon - Poem by Josephine Preston Peabody

Over the twilight field,
Over the glimmering field
And bleeding furrows, with their sodden yield
Of sheaves that still did writhe,
After the scythe;
The teeming field, and darkly overstrewn
With all the garnered fullness of that noon-
Two looked upon each other.
One was a Woman, men had called their mother:
And one the Harvest Moon.

And one the Harvest Moon
Who stood, who gazed
On those unquiet gleanings, where they bled;
Till the lone Woman said:

'But we were crazed….
We should laugh now together, I and you;
We two.
You, for your ever dreaming it was worth
A star's while to look on, and light the earth;
And I, for ever telling to my mind
Glory it was and gladness, to give birth
To human kind.
I gave the breath,-and thought it not amiss,
I gave the breath to men,
For men to slay again;
Lording it over anguish, all to give
My life, that men might live,
For this.

'You will be laughing now, remembering
We called you once Dead World, and barren thing.
Yes, so we called you then,
You, far more wise
Than to give life to men.'

Over the field that there
Gave back the skies
A scattered upward stare
From sightless eyes,
The furrowed field that lay
Striving awhile, through many a bleeding dune
Of throbbing clay,-but dumb and quiet soon,
She looked; and went her way,
The Harvest Moon.


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Poem Submitted: Thursday, April 22, 2010



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