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Celebrating National Poetry Day with Gilbert White

We’re celebrating National Poetry Day by sharing some of the poetry of Gilbert White.

Gilbert White's study


A Harvest Scene
Waked by the gentle gleamings of the morn,
Soon clad, the reaper, provident of want
Hies cheerful-hearted to the ripen’d field;
Nor hastes alone; attendant by his side
His faithful wife, sole partner of his cares,
Bears on her breast for the sleeping babe; behind,
With steps unequal, trips her infant train:
Thrice happy pair, in love and labour join’d!
All day they ply their task; with mutual chat,
Beguiling each the sultry, tedious hours.
Around them falls in rows the sever’d corn,
Or the shocks rise in regular array.
But when high noon invites to short repast,
Beneath the shade of sheltering thorn they sit,
Divide the simple meal, and drain the cask:
The swinging cradle lulls the whimpering babe
Meantime; while growing round, if at the tread
Of hasty passengers alarm’d, as of their store
Protective, stalks the cur with bristling back.
To guard the scanty scrip and russet frock.