The Corn-Song

John Greenleaf Whittier

HEAP HIGH the farmer’s wintry hoard!
    Heap high the golden corn!
No richer gift has Autumn poured
    From out her lavish horn!

Let other lands, exulting, glean
    The apple from the pine,
The orange from its glossy green,
    The cluster from the vine;

We better love the hardy gift
    Our rugged vales bestow,
To cheer us when the storm shall drift
    Our harvest-fields with snow.

Through vales of grass and meads of flowers
    Our ploughs their furrows made,
While on the hills the sun and showers
    Of changeful April played.

We dropped the seed o’er hill and plain
    Beneath the sun of May,
And frightened from our sprouting grain
    The robber crows away.

All through the long, bright days of June
    Its leaves grew green and fair,
And waved in hot midsummer’s noon
    Its soft and yellow hair.

And now, with autumn’s moonlit eves,
    Its harvest-time has come,
We pluck away the frosted leaves,
    And bear the treasure home.

There, richer than the fabled gift
    Apollo showered of old,
Fair hands the broken grain shall sift,
    And knead its meal of gold.

Let vapid idlers loll in silk
    Around their costly board;
Give us the bowl of samp and milk,
    By homespun beauty poured!

Where’er the wide old kitchen hearth
    Sends up its smoky curls,
Who will not thank the kindly earth
    And bless our farmer girls?

Then shame on all the proud and vain,
    Whose folly laughs to scorn
The blessing of our hardy grain,
    Our wealth of golden corn!

Let earth withhold her goodly root,
    Let mildew blight the rye,
Give to the worm the orchard’s fruit,
    The wheat-field to the fly:

But let the good old crop adorn
    The hills our fathers trod;
Still let us, for His golden corn,
    Send up our thanks to God!

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