African American Poetry (1870-1927): A Digital Anthology

Olivia Ward Bush Banks, "At Harvest Time" (1899)


A Sower walked among his fields
  When Spring's fair glory filled the earth;
He scattered seed with eager hand,
  And sowing, thought upon their worth.
"These seeds are precious ones," he said.
  "The finest flowers shall be mine;
And I shall reap rich, golden grain,
  When these are ripe at harvest time."
"I'll watch their growth with earnest care,
  And faithfully will till the soil;
With willing hands each passing day
  From morn till setting sun I'll toil. 
And when the reaping time shall come,
  A bounteous Harvest shall be mine;
I shall rejoice at duty done
  When these are ripe at Harvest time."

Forth to his fields at Harvest time,
  The Sower bent his steps again;
The Reapers' song sang merrily,
  Their sickles gleamed 'mid golden grain. 
With joyous heart the Sower cried
  "Behold, what precious sheaves are mine;
And labor brings its own reward,
  For these are ripe at Harvest time."

O Master! in thy fields so fair
  We, too, are sowing precious seed.
And like the Sower we will toil
  Till golden grain fulfil thy need.
Then shall we hear thy loving voice,–
  "Behold! what precious sheaves are mine.
Let all be safely garnered in,
  For these are ripe at Harvest time."