Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE PLOUGHER [OR PLOWER], by PADRAIC COLUM

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THE PLOUGHER [OR PLOWER], by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Sunset and silence! A man: around him earth savage, earth broken
Last Line: And splendors.
Variant Title(s): The Plougher
Subject(s): Plowing & Plowmen

Sunset and silence! A man: around him earth savage, earth broken;
Beside him two horses -- a plough!

Earth savage, earth broken, the brutes, the dawn man there in the
And the Plough that is twin to the Sword, that is founder of cities!

"Brute-tamer, plough-maker, earth-breaker! Can'st hear?
There are ages between us.
"Is it praying you are as you stand there alone in the sunset?

"Surely our sky-born gods can be naught to you, earth child and earth
"Surely your thoughts are of Pan, or of Wotan, or Dana?

"Yet, why give thought to the gods? Has Pan led your brutes where they
"Has Dana numbed pain of the child-bed, or Wotan put hands to your

"What matter your foolish reply! O, man, standing lone and bowed
"Your task is a day near its close. Give thanks to the night-giving
. . . . . . .
Slowly the darkness falls, the broken lands blend with the savage;
The brute-tamer stands by the brutes, a head's breadth only above

A head's breadth? Ay, but therein is hell's depth, and the height up
to heaven,
And the thrones of the gods and their halls, their chariots, purples,
and splendors.

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