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A Harvest

Christina Rossetti (1830–1894)

O Gate of death, of the blessed night,
That shall open not again
On this world of shame and sorrow,
Where slow ages wax and wane,
Where are signs and seasons, days and nights,
And mighty winds and rain.

Is the day wearing toward the west?—
Far off cool shadows pass,
A visible refreshment
Across the sultry grass:
Far off low mists are mustering,
A broken shifting mass.

Still in the deepest knowledge
Some depth is left unknown:
Still in the merriest music lurks
A plaintive undertone:
Still with the closest friend some throb
Of life is felt alone.

Time’s summer breath is sweet, his sands
Ebb sparkling as they flow,
Yet some are sick that this should end
Which is from long ago:—
Are not the fields already white
To harvest in the glow?—

There shall come another harvest
Than was in days of yore:
The reapers shall be Angels,
Our God shall purge the floor:—
No more seed-time, no more harvest,
Then for evermore.

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