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by William Cullen Bryant


Whomid the grasses of the field

That spring beneath our careless feet

First found the shining stems that yield

The grains of life-sustaining wheat: -

Who firstupon the furrowed land

Strewed the bright grains to sproutand grow

And ripen for the reaper's hand-

We know notand we cannot know. -

But well we know the hand that brought

And scatteredfar as sight can reach

The seeds of free and living thought

On the broad field of modern speech. -

Mid the white hills that round us lie

We cherish that Great Sower's fame

Andas we pile the sheaves on high

With awe we utter Dante's name. -

Six centuriessince the poet's birth

Have come and flitted o'er our sphere:

The richest harvest reaped on earth

Crowns the last century's closing year. - -