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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889

The Harvest-Call

By William H. Burleigh (1812–1871)

[Born in Woodstock, Conn., 1812. Died in Brooklyn, N. Y., 1871. Poems. 1871.]

ABIDE not in the land of dreams,

O man, however fair it seems,

Where drowsy airs thy powers repress

In languors of sweet idleness.

Nor linger in the misty past,

Entranced in visions vague and vast;

But with clear eye the present scan,

And hear the call of God and man.

That call, though many-voiced, is one,

With mighty meanings in each tone;

Through sob and laughter, shriek and prayer,

Its summons meet thee everywhere.

Think not in sleep to fold thy hands,

Forgetful of thy Lord’s commands;

From duty’s claims no life is free,—

Behold, to-day hath need of thee.

Look up! the wide extended plain

Is billowy with its ripened grain,

And on the summer winds are rolled

Its waves of emerald and gold.

Thrust in thy sickle, nor delay

The work that calls for thee to-day;

To-morrow, if it come, will bear

Its own demands of toil and care.

The present hour allots thy task:

For present strength and patience ask,

And trust His love whose sure supplies

Meet all thy needs as they arise.

Lo! the broad fields, with harvests white,

Thy hands to strenuous toil invite;

And he who labors and believes

Shall reap reward of ample sheaves.

Up! for the time is short; and soon

The morning sun will climb to noon.

Up! ere the herds, with trampling feet

Outrunning thine, shall spoil the wheat.

While the day lingers, do thy best!

Full soon the night will bring its rest;

And, duty done, that rest shall be

Full of beatitudes to thee.