Jeppe Aakjaer


The Oats - Poem by Jeppe Aakjaer

The Oats

Here I stand with tinkling bells galore,
Twenty on each straw, I think, or more.
But the farmer, bless his honest soul,
Calls me oats and speaks of twenty fold.

I was sown while happy birds in spring
Made with joyful song the welkin ring.
Bumble bees in wild and tumbling race,
In the mellow sunshine droned the bass.

Growing up in sunny morning dew
That sweet Symphony within me grew.
He who listens humbly while I ring,
Hears the echo of the songs of spring.

Cold, unfeeling hearts can never see
Anything but cattle-feed in me.
I am more than food for hungry jaws,
I am song of birds on golden straws.

I am friends with everything that grows,
Friends with every gentle wind that blows,
Friends with waving trees and summer skies,
Friends with daisies and with butterflies.

When the sun goes down, its parting smile
Lingers on my golden head a while,
And when evening bells ring out, I too
Tinkle, standing tip-toe in the dew.

I am ringing children to their beds,
Ringing up the mist that slowly spreads,
Ringing peace, as busy day departs,
Into humble homes and pious hearts.

Jeppe Aakjær
English lyrics by S.D. Rodholm

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, September 14, 2010

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