BALLAD OF AN IRISH WHEAT FIELD

BALLAD OF AN IRISH WHEAT FIELD


Walk softly, O man, past an acre of wheat,
With awe in your heart and your face.
Walk humbly, O man, and with reverent feet,
For strength slumbers here - Can't you feel its heart beat?
And beauty's own couch is an acre of wheat,
And holiness dwells in this place.

* * *

Breathe gently, O breeze, on the grain-heavy ears,
That drank long and deep of spring rain.
O breeze, ripple gently the yellow-tipped spears.
Our little ones, caught in the rush of the years,
Need growth that is stored in the wheat's golden ears
All mother-ripe now with smooth grain.

* * *

Sing sweetly, O birds, as you skim the rich field,
And sprinkle your hyssop of song,
For here in each silken-caped kernel is sealed
The secret of living. The liberal yield
Will strengthen and quicken, O birds of the field,
And comfort the earth's hungry throng.

* * *

Shine kindly, O sun, keep it warmly alive.
On this field lay a tender caress,
For here is the reason men struggle and strive
And strain, sweat and anguish and battle and drive.
And life's spent for wheat just to keep men alive.
O sun, let your rays kindly bless.

* * *

Walk softly, O man, past an acre of wheat,
O birds, mute your silver-splashed mirth!
O breeze, hold your breathing! O sun, shed your heat!
For here is the food that God gave us to eat ...
The Body of Christ comes from sanctified wheat,
Twice-blessed be this fruit of the earth!

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