WHEN on the breath of autumn breeze,

From pastures dry and brown,

Goes floating like an idle thought

The fair white thistledown,

Oh, then what joy to walk at will

Upon the golden harvest hill!


What joy in dreamy ease to lie

Amid a field new shorn,

And see all round on sun-lit slopes

The piled-up stacks of corn;

And send the fancy wandering o'er

All pleasant harvest-fields of yore.


I feel the day—I see the field,

The quivering of the leaves,

And good old Jacob and his house

Binding the yellow sheaves;

And at this very hour

I seem to be with Joseph in his dream.


I see the fields of Bethlehem,

And reapers many a one,

Bending unto their sickle's stroke—

And Boaz looking on;

And Ruth, the Moabite so fair,

Among the gleaners stooping there.


Again, I see a little child,

His mother's sole delight,—

God's living gift of love unto

The kind, good Shunamite; —

To mortal pangs I see him yield,

And the lad bear him from the field.



The sun-bathed quiet of the hills,

The fields of Galilee,

That eighteen hundred years ago

Were full of corn, I see;

And the dear Saviour takes his way

'Mid ripe ears on the Sabbath-day.


Oh, golden fields of bending corn,

How beautiful they seem!

The reaper-folk, the piled-up sheaves,

To me are like a dream.

The sunshine and the very air

Seem of old time, and take me there.




Mary Howitt.