The Harvest’s Done

Note: This poem is related to “An open letter to Thomas Kidd,” which appears below it.

Thomas Kidd of Richmond, BC, 1846-1930The Harvest’s Done
by Thomas Kidd, 1846–1930

The harvest’s done, and on our farm today
A holiday is held—in wildest play,
The young stock madly run from field to field,
Careless to know what better food they yield.
The larger freedom seems their case for glee,
As all things animate seek to be free.
With tails erect they run till breath gives out,
As that returns, lock horns in friendly bout;
Then off again to make another run
Till all the farm is covered in their fun.

The sober cows, more anxious to find
What careless harvesters have left behind,
Which, with fresh grass along the fence’s side
A breakfast gives, with which they’re satisfied,
Then lay them down that breakfast to rechew—
A pleasure that poor mankind never knew.

The pigs, our worst of prisoners, are out
And in the stubble ploughs each eager snout,
Last winter’s deadened rings almost forgot,
Thus, back to nature, seem a happy lot.
The little ones keep close to mother’s side,
Not knowing yet all nature can provide.
Their tender snouts they soon learn to employ,
And whirling tails express their new-found joy.

Yes, all seem happy on the farm today
Except my faithful dog, whose eyes convey
A sense of injured pride, because restrained
From keeping order, by him well maintained.
The sun, with shrinking arch, brings shorter days
And cooler air, now clear from summer’s haze.

Summer’s great ripening work is done once more,
Leaving us rich in all we need to store,
And autumn is at work with care to save
The seed and germ that spring and summer gave,
That, winter past, will to those seasons give
The power to reproduce that all may live,
And let us hope, for us, may kindly run
Another year to sing “The harvest’s done.”

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