Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE LABOURER, by ALEKSEY STEPANOVICH KHOMYAKOV

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THE LABOURER, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: All day, so long as arms had power
Last Line: Is ready to be sown by thee.
Subject(s): Labor & Laborers; Work; Workers

ALL day, so long as arms had power,
Through clinging clods of weedy waste,
The heavy plough of patient plougher
Full long enough its path has traced.

Enough! with savage spite surrounded,
While fools malign and scoffers flout,
I have toiled, as though with strength unbounded;
I am worn out. I am worn out.

'Tis time to rest. O waters purling
And leafy trees, and plains that drowse,
And high above my dingle curling
The arches of the twining boughs.

If only for one moment, bending
Beside the stream in that dear nook,
To drain, my thirsty lungs extending,
The evening fragrance of the brook!

To wipe my brow from noon-day swelter
Till all the load of cares was gone!
"Thou foolish one! For thee no shelter!
For thee no rest! Go on! still on!

"Look at the field! How much to claim thee!
How few the hours that still remain!
Arise! and let no weakness shame thee!
Thy Master bids. Set forth again!

"'Twas at a precious price I bought thee!
The Cross, the Life-blood were the pay;
Bend, tiller, o'er the task I taught thee!
Toil, toiler, all the livelong day!"

Before Thy high commandment humbled,
O Lord, I tremble and submit,
And that Thy foolish servant grumbled,
Record not at Thy judgment-seat!

With toil and sweat still undiminished,
I will complete what Thou dost ask.
I will not sleep till it is finished;
I will not weaken at my task.

Thy lazy servant shall not tarry;
Firm in his hands the plough shall be,
Until the field Thou bidst him harry
Is ready to be sown by Thee.

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