When will the day bring its pleasure?
When will the night bring its rest?
Reaper and gleaner and thresher
Peer toward the east and the west:—
The Sower He knoweth, and He knoweth best.
Meteors flash forth and expire,
Northern lights kindle and pale;
These are the days of desire,
Of eyes looking upward that fail;
Vanishing days as a finishing tale.
Bows down the crop in its glory
Tenfold, fifty-fold, hundred-fold;
The millet is ripened and hoary,
The wheat ears are ripened to gold:—
Why keep us waiting in dimness and cold?
The Lord of the harvest, He knoweth
Who knoweth the first and the last:
The Sower Who patiently soweth,
He scanneth the present and past:
He saith, “What thou hast, what remaineth, hold fast.”
Yet, Lord, o’er Thy toil-wearied weepers
The storm-clouds hang muttering and frown:
On threshers and gleaners and reapers,
O Lord of the harvest, look down;
Oh for the harvest, the shout, and the crown!
“Not so,” saith the Lord of the reapers,
The Lord of the first and the last:
“O My toilers, My weary, My weepers,
What ye have, what remaineth, hold fast.
Hide in My heart till the vengeance be past.”