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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 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

ing grain

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,
Fair hands the broken grain shall

And knead its meal of gold.

We pluck away the frosted leaves,

And bear the treasure home

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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!

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"?
How does the corn compare with other gifts of autumn?

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”?
Do you know which is the harvest moon?
What is done with the ripened corn? (Stanza 8.)

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.'

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On the wide lawn the snow lay deep,
Ridged o’er with many a drifted heap;
The wind that through the pine trees sung
The naked elm boughs tossed and swung;
While, through the window, frosty-starred,
Against the sunset purple barred,
We saw the somber crow flap by,
The hawk's gray fleck along the sky,
The crested blue jay flitting swift,
The squirrel poising on the drift,
Erect, alert, his broad gray tail

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