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We better love the hardy gift
Our rugged vales bestow,
Our harvest fields with snow.
Through vales of grass and
meads of flowers, Our plows 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 sprout
The robber crows away. dropped the seed o'er hill and plain
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,
Where'er the wide old kitchen hearth
Sends up its smoky curls,
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,
The wheat field to the fly:
But let the good old crop adorn
The hills our fathers trod;
Send up our thanks to God!
Hoard (hõrd), a supply laid up for the future; lăv'ish, plentiful; hôrn, according to an old story a goat's horn was given the power of furnishing its possessor, who had befriended Zeus, with everything desired; ex ult'ing (ěg zŭlt'ing), in high spirits; gléan, gather; här'dy, able to withstand cold; fā'bled, told of in old stories; A pól’lo, the golden-haired god of the sun, patron of the new crops of the spring; văp'íd, dull, empty headed; lõll, to move about in a lazy manner; sămp, a coarse kind of broken corn or hominy; mildew, mold. STUDY HELPS
Why does the poet call the corn a "wintry hoard"?
The fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh stanzas tell the story of the corn crop. Name the steps in its production as the poet states them.
What is meant by “its soft and yellow hair”?
With what kind of life is the simple farmer's life contrasted? (Stanza 9.)
Read three passages from stanzas 8, 9, and 10 that show that the pleasures of home life are connected with the food made from corn.
What lines tell you about old-fashioned methods of cooking?
Upon what class of people does the poet call down shame? (Stanza 11.)
What crops is he willing to lose rather than the corn? (Stanza 12.)
Study these expressions: (1) “apple from the pine”; (2) “rugged vales”; (3) "changeful April"; (4) "robber crows"; (5) “meal of gold"; (6) "homespun beauty”; (7) “golden corn”; (8) "goodly root.'
On the wide lawn the snow lay deep,