Maurice Thompson

Dropping Corn

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Pretty Phoebe Lane and I,
In the soft May weather,
Barefoot down the furrows went
Dropping corn together.

Side by side across the field
Back and forth we hurried;
All the golden grains we dropped
Soon the ploughshare buried.

Bluebirds on the hedges sat,
Chirping low and billing;
"Why," thought I, "not follow suit,
If the maid is willing?"

So I whispered, "Phoebe, dear,
Kiss me"--"Keep on dropping!"
Called her father from the plough;
"There 's no time for stopping!"

The cord was loosed,--the moment sped;
The golden charm was broken!
Nevermore between us two
Word of love was spoken.

What a little slip, sometimes,
All our hope releases!
How the merest breath of chance
Breaks our joy in pieces!

Sorrow's cup, though often drained,
Never lacks for filling;
And we can't get Fortune's kiss
When the maid is willing!

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Maurice Thompson