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The Reapers

From Ailenroc’s Book, by Cornelia Alexander

The soft June sunshine floods the hills,
And loitering breezes fan my brow;
Sweet-throated birds, insane with joy,
Pour melody from every bough;
While in the valley at my feet
I hear the reapers’ cheerful shout,
And see the sickles gleam and flash,
Cast by the sinewy hands about.

The ripe grain falls before the blow,
And prone upon the earth is cast;
But other hands soon fashioned it
Into firm, golden sheaves at last.
‘Tis thus our simplest words may fall
In other hearts and lodgment gain;
Young minds receive what we cast by,
And bind in sheaves of living grain.

And let us now a lesson learn,
If work we can and work we must:
Look up, be glad, toil cheerfully,
Grovel no more in grief and dust;
Sing while we work all cheerily;
Let songs and laughter cheer the day,
While shines the sun and sing the birds
And fragrant flowers bloom by the way.

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