Thoughts In A Wheat-Field

At the moment, local fields are a lovely golden colour with Wheat ready for harvesting. Rain has currently interrupted farmers from collecting their crop, but as soon as there is a dry spell, they’ll be out in the countryside in their Combines. Hopefully the rain hasn’t damaged their crop, as moisture content is pretty critical.

Did you know? Wheat was first harvested over 12,000 years ago, with its origin being traced back to south east Turkey. It is one of the most successful food crops with 25,000 different varieties!

In his wide fields walks the Master,
In his fair fields, ripe for harvest,
Where the evening sun shines slant-wise
On the rich ears heavy bending;
Saith the Master: ‘It is time.’
Though no leaf shows brown decadence,
And September’s nightly frost-bite
Only reddens the horizon,
‘It is full time,’ saith the Master,
The wise Master, ‘It is time.’

Lo, he looks. That look compelling
Brings his laborers to the harvest;
Quick they gather, as in autumn
Passage-birds in cloudy eddies
Drop upon the seaside fields;
White wings have they, and white raiment,
White feet shod with swift obedience,
Each lays down his golden palm branch,
And uprears his sickle shining,
‘Speak, O Master,–is it time?’

O’er the field the servants hasten,
Where the full-stored ears droop downwards,
Humble with their weight of harvest:
Where the empty ears wave upward,
And the gay tares flaunt in rows:
But the sickles, the sharp sickles,
Flash new dawn at their appearing,
Songs are heard in earth and heaven,
For the reapers are the angels,
And it is the harvest time.

O Great Master, are thy footsteps
Even now upon the mountains?
Are thou walking in thy wheat-field?
Are the snowy-wingèd reapers
Gathering in the silent air?
Are thy signs abroad, the glowing
Of the distant sky, blood-reddened,
And the near fields trodden, blighted,
Choked by gaudy tares triumphant,
Sure, it must be harvest time?

Who shall know the Master’s coming?
Whether it be at dawn or sunset,
When night dews weigh down the wheat-ears,
Or while noon rides high in heaven,
Sleeping lies the yellow field?
Only, may thy voice, Good Master,
Peal above the reapers’ chorus,
And dull sound of sheaves slow falling,
‘Gather all into My garner,
For it is My harvest time.’

Dinah Maria Mulock Craik
Wheat Field
Wheat Field


  1. And of course this all brings John Clare to mind. His Shepherd’s Calendar for August has the whole village out bringing in the harvest

    Harvest approaches with its bustling day
    The wheat tans brown and barley bleaches grey
    In yellow garb the oat land intervenes
    And tawney glooms the valley thronged with beans
    Silent the village grows, wood wandering dreams
    Seem not so lovely as its quiet seems
    Doors are shut up as on a winters day
    And not a child about them lies at play
    The dust that winnows neath the breezes feet
    Is all that stirs about the silent street
    Fancy might think that desert spreading fear
    Had whisperd terrors into quiets ear
    Or plundering armys past the place had come
    And drove the lost inhabitants from home
    The fields now claim them where a motley crew
    Of old and young their daily tasks pursue
    The barleys beard is grey and wheat is brown
    And wakens toil betimes to leave the town
    The reapers leave their beds before the sun
    And gleaners follow when home toils are done
    To pick the littered ear the reaper leaves
    And glean in open fields among the sheaves

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