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The Sower


Sitting in a porchway cool,
Fades the ruddy sunlight fast,
Twilight hastens on to rule--
Working hours are wellnigh past

Shadows shoot across the lands;
But one sower lingers still,
Old, in rags, he patient stands,--
Looking on, I feel a thrill.

Black and high his silhouette
Dominates the furrows deep!
Now to sow the task is set,
Soon shall come a time to reap.

Marches he along the plain,
To and fro, and scatters wide
From his hands the precious grain;
Moody, I, to see him stride.

Darkness deepens. Gone the light.
Now his gestures to mine eyes
Are august; and strange--his height
Seems to touch the starry skies.

Translated by Toru Dutt

From Les Chansons Des Rues Et Des Bois