An Epitaph For A Husbandman

He who would start and rise
Before the crowing cocks, --
No more he lifts his eyes,
Whoever knocks.
He who before the stars
Would call the cattle home, --
They wait about the bars
For him to come.
Him at whose hearty calls
The farmstead woke again
The horses in their stalls
Expect in vain.

Busy and blithe and bold
He laboured for the morrow, --
The plough his hands would hold
Rusts in the furrow.

His fields he had to leave,
His orchards cool and dim;
The clods he used to cleave
Now cover him.

But the green, growing things
Lean kindly to his sleep, --
White roots and wandering strings,
Closer they creep.

Because he loved them long
And with them bore his part,
Tenderly now they throng
About his heart.

by Sir Charles George Douglas Roberts

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