farm poems

50 Delightful Farm Poems about Farming Life

Get ready to put on your boots and step into the world of poetries about farming!

In this collection, we’ve gathered together some of the most captivating, and heartwarming poems about life on the farm.

From the crack of dawn to the setting sun, these farm poems take you on a journey through the joys and challenges of working the land.

Whether you’re a city slicker dreaming of the simple life or a seasoned farmer, this collection is sure to delight and inspire you.

So, come along and let’s explore the rich and vibrant world of farm poetry!

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Famous Farm Poems

In this collection, we’ve rounded up some of the famous poems about farming. Discover the timeless beauty of rural life through the eyes of some of the world’s greatest poets with these famous farm poems.

1. Seed-Time

       by James B. Kenyon

The fields lie swathed in misty blue;
Dim vapors crown the wooded height;
From every trembling spray the dew
Shoots back the morning’s quivering light.
In hollows where the tender fern
Uncurls beside the glimmering burn,
The cool gray shadows linger yet,
To kiss the pale young violet.
Hark! singing through the orchard close,
And whistling o’er the furrowed plain,
The lusty sower blithely goes
To drop the golden grain.
Clear morning sounds are in the air;
The birds their jocund matins swell;
Each stream makes music fine and rare;
Each fountain rings its crystal bell.
Sweet from the blooming apple-trees,
Come elfin quirings of the bees,
And from far uplands, faintly borne,
Float mellow greetings to the morn.
O tuneful world! each wind that blows
Brings from the field a glad refrain,
Where, singing still, the sower goes
And drops his golden grain.

2. The Farmer

       by Margaret E. Sangster

The dawn is here! I climb the hill;
The earth is young and strangely still;
A tender green is showing where
But yesterday my fields were bare….
I climb and, as I climb, I sing;
The dawn is here, and with it—spring!
My oxen stamp the ground, and they
Seem glad, with me, that soon the day
Will bring new work for us to do!
The light above is clear and blue;
And one great cloud that swirls on high,
Seems sent from earth to kiss the sky.
The birds are coming back again,
They know that soon the golden grain
Will wave above this fragrant loam;
The birds, with singing, hasten home;
And I, who watch them, feel their song
Deep in my soul, and nothing wrong,
Or mean or small, can touch my heart….
Down in the vale the smoke-wreaths start,
To softly curl above the trees;
The fingers of a vagrant breeze
Steal tenderly across my hair,
And toil is fled, and want, and care!
The dawn is here!
I climb the hill;
My very oxen seem to thrill—
To feel the mystery of day.
The sun creeps out, and far away
From man-made law I worship God,
Who made the light, the cloud, the sod;
I worship smilingly, and sing!
* * *
The dawn is here, and with it—spring!

3. The Growing Corn

       by Frederick J. Atwood

Upon a thousand hills the corn
Stands tall and rank and glossy green;
Its broad leaves stir at early morn,
And dewy diamonds drop between.
A myriad banners wave o’erhead,
And countless silken pennons fly;
The tasseled plumes bend low, ‘t is said,
And only silken ears know why.
Those bending plumes—those upturned ears—
Methinks it is the old, old story!
Dame Nature still, with rapture hears
The song she heard in Eden’s glory.
And so is wrought this miracle
Of life and growth unto perfection,—
A mystery that none may tell,
Save that God gives to it direction.

4. Cornfields

       by Mary Howitt

When on the breath of Autumn’s breeze,
From pastures dry and brown,
Goes floating, like an idle thought,
The fair, white thistle-down,—
Oh, then what joy to walk at will
Upon the golden harvest-hill!
What joy in dreaming ease to lie
Amid a field new shorn;
And see all round, on sunlit slopes,
The piled-up shocks of corn;
And send the fancy wandering o’er
All pleasant harvest-fields of yore!
I feel the day; I see the field;
The quivering of the leaves;
And good old Jacob, and his house,—
Binding the yellow sheaves!
And at this very hour I seem
To be with Joseph in his dream!
I see the fields of Bethlehem,
And reapers many a one
Bending unto their sickles’ stroke,
And Boaz looking on;
And Ruth, the Moabitess fair,
Among the gleaners stooping there!
Again, I see a little child,
His mother’s sole delight,—
God’s living gift of love unto
The kind, good Shunammite;
To mortal pangs I see him yield,
And the lad bear him from the field.
The sun-bathed quiet of the hills,
The fields of Galilee,
That eighteen hundred years ago
Were full of corn, I see;
And the dear Saviour take his way
‘Mid ripe ears on the Sabbath day.
Oh, golden fields of bending corn,
How beautiful they seem!
The reaper-folk, the piled-up sheaves,
To me are like a dream;
The sunshine, and the very air
Seem of old time, and take me there!

5. The Hayloft

       by Robert Louis Stevenson

Through all the pleasant meadow-side
The grass grew shoulder-high,
Till the shining scythes went far and wide
And cut it down to dry.
Those green and sweetly smelling crops
They led in waggons home;
And they piled them here in mountain tops
For mountaineers to roam.
Here is Mount Clear, Mount Rusty-Nail,
Mount Eagle and Mount High;—
The mice that in these mountains dwell,
No happier are than I!
Oh, what a joy to clamber there,
Oh, what a place for play,
With the sweet, the dim, the dusty air,
The happy hills of hay!

6. A Ballad of The Corn

       by S. H. M. Byers

Oh, the undulating prairies,
And the fields of yellow corn,
Like a million soldiers waiting for the fray.
Oh, the rustling of the corn leaves
Like a distant fairy’s horn
And the notes the fairy bugles seem to play.
“We have risen from the bosom
Of the beauteous mother earth,
Where the farmer plowed his furrow straight and long.
There was gladness and rejoicing
When the summer gave us birth,
In the tumult and the dancing and the song.
“When the sumach turns to scarlet,
And the vines along the lane
Are garmented in autumn’s golden wine—
Then the land shall smile for plenty,
And the toiler for his pain,
When the soldiers of our army stand in line.
“With our shining blades before us,
And our banners flaming far,
Want and hunger shall be slain forevermore.
And the cornfield’s lord of plenty
In his golden-covered car
Then shall stop at every happy toiler’s door.”
Oh, the sunshine and the beauty
On the fields of ripened corn,
And the wigwams and the corn-rows where they stand.
In the lanes I hear the music
Of the faintly blowing horn
And the blessed Indian summer’s on the land.

7. Spring Work

       by Mary B. C. Slade

Plough the land, plough the land;
Hold the handles with each hand;
Furrows keep straight and deep,
Firm and steady stand.
Quickly turn around we may,
Ploughing back the other way;
Plough the land, plough the land—
Farmers understand.
Sow the seed, sow the seed,
Little birds will come and feed;
Never mind, you will find
Much they leave behind.
Soon the tender blades will spring,
Just as green as anything;
Sow the seed, sow the seed,
Pleasant work indeed.
Now we rest, now we rest,
After labor that is best;
First you know, green will show
Where the grain we sow.
Soon you’ll see a welcome sight,
Field so pretty, green, and bright.
Spring-time through, glad are you
Farmer’s work to do?

8. The Cow And The Pig And The Hen

       by A. H. Upham

The farmer smiled as he passed them by—
The cow and the pig and the hen;
For the price of wheat had gone sky-high,
And the cow and the pig and the hen
They ate up grain he could sell at the mill,
They needed his care when nights were chill,
He swore of them all he’d had his fill—
The cow and the pig and the hen.
These barnyard cattle had had their day,
The cow and the pig and the hen.
He could get thirty bones for a ton of hay—
No need for the cow or the hen.
He never would milk another cow,
He hated the sight of a grunting sow,
And raising chickens was work for the frau,
Good-bye to the cow and the hen.
They gave no heed to his jeer or frown,
The cow and the pig and the hen,
Whatever goes up, said they, comes down,
The wise old cow and the hen.
The hen laid eggs the winter thru,
The cow gave milk and the piggy grew,
But hay dropped down from thirty to two—
Oh, the cow and the pig and the hen!
Now he sits and sighs, as he counts the cost,
For the cow and the pig and the hen.
He almost cries for the milk he’s lost,
The cow and the pig and the hen.
He’d tend them gladly in mud and rain,
And scrap his acres of hay and grain,
If he only could buy them back again,
The cow and the pig and the hen.

Funny Farm Poems

Looking for a good laugh? Check out these interesting poems about farms! From witty observations to comical reflections, these poems are sure to tickle your funny bone.

1. The Funny Farm

       by Jack Ellison

I’m really an adult though my lims don’t show it
Why should I grow up, it’s more fun to emit
Words like ga ga and goo goo
Or poopy and doo doo
Run when the funny farm wants me to commit

2. Old McDonald Had A Farm

       by Anonymous

Old MacDonald had a farm, E-I-E-I-O.
And on that farm he had a cow, E-I-E-I-O.
With a moo moo here and a moo moo there
Here a moo, there a moo, everywhere a moo moo
Old MacDonald had a farm, E-I-E-I-O.

3. The Cunning Old Crow

       by Anonymous

On the limb of an oak sat a cunning old crow,
And chatted away with glee,
As he saw the old farmer go out to sow,
And he cried, “It’s all for me!
“Look, look, how he scatters his seeds around;
How wonderfully kind to the poor!
If he’d empty it down in a pile on the ground,
I could find it much better, I’m sure!
“I’ve learned all the tricks of this wonderful man,
Who has such regard for the crow
That he lays out his grounds in a regular plan,
And covers his corn in a row.
“He must have a very great fancy for me;
He tries to entrap me enough,
But I measure his distance as well as he,
And when he comes near, I’m off.”

4. Best Medicine

       by Richard Lamoureux

If laughter’s the best medicine
I think I’ve had an overdose
It’s coursing through my body
From my head down to my toes

I’m worried about my Ass
They say you can laugh it off
I’m building up pressure
Like a giant Molotov

I am taken to the funny farm
They think I’ve gone nuts
I started seeing animals
Walking around without butts

How is it possible
It seems like a bad joke
I’m laughing so hard
I start to cough and choke

I guess in the end
I really did overdose
It didn’t quite kill me
But it really came close

So control your laughter
Maybe one chuckle’s enough
That dang old funny
is powerful stuff

5. Welcome to The Funny Farm

       by Richard Lamoureux

Beware of wolves in sheepskins
My what clever wolves
I wonder if the sheep could pass as wolves
Perhaps they could go to Wolves R Us

I’ve heard of a Fox in a Hen House
I wonder if a Hen ever visits a Fox House

Who was the idiot that let the Bull loose
The china shop will never be the same
I also wonder why so many Bull remain
Especially with all the politicians shooting Bull

I was so busy I had no time to get ready for my trip
So I invited a pack Rat over to help get me organized
My house boat started to sink and he was the first to leave

It started to rain Cats and Dogs
I think I need a better umbrella

He told me I could get there as the crow flies
I think he lied, my arms are tired and I’m still here

I thought I would become my own boss
This Monkey Business is tougher than I expected
My inventory is eating up all my profits

All my clothing shrank when I came in from the rain
I have to admit I felt a little Sheepish

The judge asked him to pronounce his own sentence
He asked if he could be Hung like a Horse

All my friends call me Eagle Eye
I like that so much better than Cyclops
I would be much happier if I had two eyes

I hope you all enjoyed the trip to the Funny Farm

Simple Farm Poems for Children

Introduce your child to the joys of rural life with these simple farm poems! Featuring easy-to-understand language these easy poems about farms for kids are the perfect.

1. Wheat

       by Hamlin Garland

The winds are tangled in the wheat.
In many a yellow breezy mass,
The rich wheat ripened far away.
They drive home the cows from the pastures,
Up through the long shady lane,
Where the quail whistles loud in the wheat-fields
That are yellow with ripening grain.
Like liquid gold the wheat-field lies,
A marvel of yellow and green,
That ripples and runs, that floats and flies,
With the subtle shadows, the change—the sheen
That plays in the golden hair of a girl.

2. Joy in The Corn Belt

       by C. L. Edson

The seed is in the clover,
The ear is in the shuck,
The melons shout, “Come out, come out,
And eat this garden-truck.”
The yellow ears are for the steers,
The white are for the swine;
Their hair and hides and bacon sides
Are all for me and mine.
The cider mug is by its jug,
The sweet potatoes fry;
And ma is shovin in the oven
Pumpkin custard pie!

3. Grandmother’s Farm

       by Anonymous

My grandmother lives on a farm
Just twenty miles from town;
She’s sixty-five years old, she says;
Her name is Grandma Brown.
Her farm is very large and fine;
There’s meadow, wood and field.
And orchards which all kinds of fruits
Most plentifully yield.
Butter she churns, and makes nice cheese;
They are so busy there,
If mother should stay with me too,
I’d like to do my share.
I go out with the haymakers,
And tumble on the hay;
They put me up upon the load,
And home we drive away.
I go into the pleasant fields
And gather berries bright;
They’ve many, many thousands there,
All fresh and sweet and ripe.
A pretty brook runs through the farm,
Singing so soft and sweet:
I sit upon the grassy bank,
And bathe my little feet.
A farmer I would like to be,
They live so pleasantly;
They must be happy while they work,
Singing so cheerfully.
I think I’ll save all that I get,
And earn all that I can
And buy me such a pleasant farm
When I grow up a man.

4. The Song of King Corn

       by Clarence Albert Murch

The dews of heaven,
The rains that fall,
The fatness of earth,
I claim them all.
O’er mountain and plain
My praises ring,
O’er ocean and land
I am King! I am King!
O’er the green hills
Flash my shining blades;
Past dancing rills,
Through sun-kissed glades
Spread my serried ranks
With a sweep and a swing,
Till the eye is aweary,
I am King! I am King!
Cities and states
Arise at my call.
Bright gold bursts out
Where my footsteps fall.
Where my russet plumes
In the breezes swing
The glad earth laughs,
For I am King! I’m King!
I girdle the earth
With shining bands,
The groaning trains
That sweep the sands,
And ships that brave
Old Ocean’s swing
Are mine, all mine—
I am King! I am King!
Would you dethrone me?
Not so, not so.
Still the golden tide
Shall swell and flow;
The earth yield riches,
The toilers sing,
In the golden land
Where Corn is King.

5. Milking Time

       by Elizabeth Madox Roberts

When supper time is almost come,
But not quite here, I cannot wait,
And so I take my china mug
And go down by the milking gate.
The cow is always eating shucks
And spilling off the little silk.
Her purple eyes are big and soft-
She always smells like milk.
And Father takes my mug from me,
And then he makes the stream come out.
I see it going in my mug
And foaming all about.
And when it’s piling very high,
And when some little streams commence
To run and drip along the sides,
He hands it to me through the fence.

6. Amid The Wheat

       by Clinton Scollard

Amid the wheat, amid the wheat,
At morn the sturdy gleaners greet
What time the meadow-lark upsprings
On buoyant wings, and soars and sings.
The reapers whet their scythes in tune
Till dies the sunlit afternoon,
Then homeward thread the laneways through
Where grasses gleam with shimmering dew,
While birds their vesper songs repeat
Amid the wheat, amid the wheat.
Amid the wheat, amid the wheat,
The poppies find a shy retreat;
With every breeze that blows is blent
Their aromatic, drowsy scent
That wafts the weary soul away
Across some wide aerial bay,
Where shoreless realms of dreamland lie
Beneath an iridescent sky:
Such vistas ope to those who meet
Amid the wheat, amid the wheat.
Amid the wheat, amid the wheat,
Who strays with frolic-loving feet?
A little maid that comes to see
Where dwells the braggart bumble-bee;
A little maid of summers few,
With laughing eyes of pansy hue,
Whose heart is like a morn in May,
Whose life an endless holiday:
Ah, may it ever seem as sweet
As now to her amid the wheat!

Farm Poems for Funerals

Honor the life of a loved one who cherished the tranquility and beauty of rural life with these heartfelt poems about farmer’s death.

1. The Farmer

       by Sue Ikerd

He has been a farmer all of his life,
long before he took a wife,
he knew he was meant to work the soil.
His days on this earth would be spent in toil,
planting the crops and clearing the land.
This was all part of the Master’s Plan.

As in his father’s and grandfather’s days.
For generations this had been the ways.
in which they would work the land and the sod,
drawing nearer to nature and communing with God.
To each of his neighbors he lent a hand
They worked together to farm the land,
in autumn when the harvest came,
each one in turn did the same.

All through the week they labored each day,
but on the Sabbath they gathered to pray.
To thank Him for His blessings and love,
what they gathered on earth had come from above . . .
When his children were born he watched them grow.
He taught them the lessons so they would know,
and learn the ways of country and farm,
of love, truth, respect and to do no harm
to creature on land or those in the air,
and to be good stewards of the land in their care.

He watched them ride horses and float down the stream,
but he knew that their future could not be his dream.
This farmer he realizes that he has wealth beyond measure,
because here on this farm he has found all his treasure.

With his family around him, for wealth there’s no need.
With all of His blessings he’s a rich man indeed.
His breed is a rare one, it’s becoming extinct,
with this world’s busy lifestyle, there’s no time to think.
Life’s becoming too hectic and people miss out,
on all of the beauty that lies roundabout.

This farmer can see it as he goes through his days,
From bird’s nests to sunsets, each free for the gaze.
The path that he’s taken is different than most.
He’s content in his heart and has no need to boast.
His drumbeat is different but he follows its sounds,
with his dog by his side he walks over this ground,
of the land that he loves, he will do it no harm,
The place of his birth, the old family farm.

2. Lines on The Death of A Farmer’s Wife

       by James McIntyre

This good woman when in this life,
She was kind mother and good wife,
And managed her household with care,
She and her husband happy pair.
And her name it will long be praised
By the large family she has raised,
She laid up treasures in the skies,
And now enjoys the Heavenly prize.
She rose each morn with happy smile,
And ardent all the day did toil,
For work it to her had a charm,
And busy was each hand and arm.

3. The Harvest

       by Sherrie Bradley Neal

Sown in the earth by skillful hands
Brought forth by sun and storm,
Destined for a harvest day
Fulfilled when ripe grain forms.

Golden wheat in sheaves prepared
For winter that will reign,
The story of the life of man
Told by the golden grain.

Made from the earth by loving hands
Through heat and rain prepared,
To face the joys and storms of life
And treasured moments shared.

When at last the harvest comes
As the fields receive the dew,
A life well lived leaves legacy
The Master’s plan in view.

4. Furrows And Fields

       by Anonymous

I spent my life in furrows and fields
Working and tilling the land
Observing the beauties created
By God’s almighty hand

I have touched the richness of soil
I’ve born the wind and sun on my face
And I would choose this life and this land
Over any other place

A life filled with crimson-dawned mornings
When I was up to greet the sky
Days spent with family and creation
All throughout my life

I was blessed to experience each springtime
Where raindrops have washed the earth clean
While summer’s sun nurtured my harvests
Fields bearing the lushness of green

And my life’s been strengthened by trials
For the weak can never belong
In a living where nature and the elements
Form a body and a courage that’s strong

Still, I’ve also been blessed with some miracles
During trying times when I couldn’t go on
Until God sent me the help I needed
And kept me right where I belonged

So having witnessed the power of God
Upon my life and upon the seasons
I know there’s a purpose in everything
Though sometimes we don’t know the reasons

…And so my life must be no different
Just like the crops that I have grown
For I am also God’s child and seed
That at harvest must come home…

To share in the joy of His presence
And to humbly kneel at His feet
Entering into His joy, and His rest
For a season of everlasting peace

5. Close The Gate

       by Nancy Kraayenhof

For this one farmer the worries are over, lie down and rest your head,
Your time has been and struggles enough, put the tractor in the shed.

Years were not easy, many downright hard, but your faith in God transcended,
Put away your tools and sleep in peace. The fences have all been mended.

You raised a fine family, worked the land well and always followed the Son,
Hang up your shovel inside of the barn; your work here on earth is done.

A faith few possess led your journey through life, often a jagged and stony way,
The sun is setting, the cattle are all bedded, and here now is the end of your day.

Your love of God’s soil has passed on to your kin; the stories flow like fine wine,
Wash off your work boots in the puddle left by blessed rain one final time.

You always believed that the good Lord would provide and He always had somehow,
Take off your gloves and put them down, no more sweat and worry for you now.

Your labor is done, your home now is heaven; no more must you wait,
Your legacy lives on, your love of the land, and we will close the gate.

Short Farm Poems

Simple and sweet, these short poems about farms are perfect for a quick moment of inspiration or a brief reflection on the beauty of rural life.

1. The Cornfield

       by Elizabeth Madox Roberts

I went across the pasture lot
When not a one was watching me.
Away beyond the cattle barns
I climbed a little crooked tree.
And I could look down on the field
And see the corn and how it grows.
Across the world and up and down
In very straight and even rows.
And far away and far away-
I wonder if the farmer man
Knows all about the corn and how
It comes together like a fan.

2. Hay-Cock

       by Hilda Conkling

This is another kind of sweetness
Shaped like a bee-hive:
This is the hive the bees have left,
It is from this clover-heap
They took away the honey
For the other hive!

3. Sowing

       by Colfax Burgoyne Harman

The swain who sows,
When cold wind blows,
May gather golden grain;
But who delays,
Till summer days,
His sowing reaps in vain.

4. Weather Cock

       by Annette Wynne

Weather cock blowing whenever winds blow,
Going where some one else wants you to go,
I would not like always to have to do so.
Perhaps it is fine to live up very high,
And swing around often and look at the sky,
But I think, after all, I would rather be I.
I’d rather be I and live down here below,
And wait when I like, and when I like go,
But you must go always the way the winds blow.

5. The Breaking of The Drought

       by Frederick J. Atwood

Listen!—it rains; it rains!
The prayer of the grass is heard;
The thirsty ground drinks eagerly
As a famished man eats bread.
The moan of the trees is hushed,
And the violets under the banks
Lift up their heads so gratefully,
And smilingly give thanks.

Long Farm Poems

Settle in and savor the rich and immersive world of these long poetries about farms. These poems offer a deep and insightful perspective on the enduring appeal of farm life.

1. The Old Cane Mill

       by Nellie Gregg Tomlinson

“What’s sorghum?” Don’t you know sorghum?
My gran’son nigh sixteen,
Don t boys know nothin’ nowadays?
Beats all I ever seen.
Why sorghum’s the bulliest stuff
Wuz ever made ter eat.
You spread it thick on homemade bread;
It’s most oncommon sweet.
“Come from?” Wall yer jist better bet
It don’t come from no can.
Jus’ b’iled down juice from sorghum cane,
Straight I’way ‘lasses bran’.
“What’s cane?” It’s some like corn, yer know,
An’ topped with plumes o’ seed.
Grows straight an’ tall on yaller clay
That wouldn’t grow a weed.
Long in September when ‘twuz ripe,
The cane-patch battle field
Wuz charged by boys with wooden swords,
Good temper wuz their shield.
They stripped the stalks of all their leaves,
Then men, with steel knives keen
Slashed off the heads and cut the stalks
An’ piled them straight an’ clean.
The tops wuz saved ter feed the hens,
Likewise fer nex’ year’s seed.
The farmer allus has ter save
Against the futur’s need.
The neighbors cum from miles erbout
An’ fetched the cane ter mill.
They stacked it high betwixt two trees,
At Gran’dads, on the hill.
An’ ol’ hoss turned the cane mill sweep,
He led hisself erroun.
The stalks wuz fed inter the press,
From them the sap wuz groun’.
This juice run through a little trough
Ter pans beneath a shed;
There it wuz b’iled an’ skimmed and b’iled,
Till it wuz thick an’ red.
Then it wuz cooled an’ put in bar’ls
An’ toted off to town
While us kids got ter lick the pan,
Which job wuz dun up brown.
Gee whiz! but we did hev good times
At taffy pullin’ bees.
We woun’ the taffy roun’ girls’ necks—
Bob wuz the biggest tease.
Inside the furnace, on live coals,
We het cane stalks red hot,
Then hit ’em hard out on the groun’—
Yer oughter hear ’em pop!
Sometimes a barefoot boy would step
Inter the skimmin’s hole,
Er pinch his fingers in the mill,
Er fall off from the pole.
When winter winds went whis’lin’ through
The door an’ winder cracks,
An’ piled up snow wuz driftin’
Till yer couldn’t see yer tracks,
Then we all drawed roun’ the table
An’ passed the buckwheat cakes,
Er mebbe it wuz good corn bread.
“What’s sorghum?” Good lan’ sakes.
Wall, son, yer hev my symperthy;
Yer’ve missed a lot, I swan.
Oh, sure yer dance an’ joy-ride
Frum ev’nin’ untel dawn,
Yer’ve football, skates an’ golf ter he’p
The passin’ time ter kill,
But give me mem’ry’s boyhood days,
Erroun’ the ol’ cane mill.

2. The Mortgage on The Farm

       by Anonymous

‘Tis gone at last, and I am glad; it stayed a fearful while,
And when the world was light and gay, I could not even smile;
It stood before me like a giant, outstretched its iron arm;
No matter where I looked, I saw the mortgage on the farm.
I’ll tell you how it happened, for I want the world to know
How glad I am this winter day whilst earth is white with snow;
I’m just as happy as a lark. No cause for rude alarm
Confronts us now, for lifted is the mortgage on the farm.
The children they were growing up and they were smart and trim.
To some big college in the East we’d sent our youngest, Jim;
And every time he wrote us, at the bottom of his screed
He tacked some Latin fol-de-rol which none of us could read.
The girls they ran to music, and to painting, and to rhymes,
They said the house was out of style and far behind the times;
They suddenly diskivered that it didn’t keep’m warm—
Another step of course towards a mortgage on the farm.
We took a cranky notion, Hannah Jane and me one day,
While we were coming home from town, a-talking all the way;
The old house wasn’t big enough for us, although for years
Beneath its humble roof we’d shared each other’s joys and tears.
We built it o’er and when ’twas done, I wish you could have seen it,
It was a most tremendous thing—I really didn’t mean it;
Why, it was big enough to hold the people of the town
And not one half as cosy as the old one we pulled down.
I bought a fine pianner and it shortened still the pile,
But, then, it pleased the children and they banged it all the while;
No matter what they played for me, their music had no charm,
For every tune said plainly: “There’s a mortgage on the farm!”
I worked from morn till eve, and toiled as often toils the slave
To meet that grisly interest; I tried hard to be brave,
And oft when I came home at night with tired brain and arm,
The chickens hung their heads, they felt the mortgage on the farm.—
But we saved a penny now and then, we laid them in a row,
The girls they played the same old tunes, and let the new ones go;
And when from college came our Jim with laurels on his brow,
I led him to the stumpy field and put him to the plow.
He something said in Latin which I didn’t understand,
But it did me good to see his plow turn up the dewy land;
And when the year had ended and empty were the cribs,
We found we’d hit the mortgage, sir, a blow between the ribs.
To-day I harnessed up the team and thundered off to town,
And in the lawyer’s sight I planked the last bright dollar down;
And when I trotted up the lanes a-feeling good and warm,
The old red rooster crowed his best: “No mortgage on the farm!”
I’ll sleep almighty good to-night, the best for many a day,
The skeleton that haunted us has passed fore’er away.
The girls can play the brand-new tunes with no fears to alarm,
And Jim can go to Congress, with no mortgage on the farm!

3. Threshing Time

       by C. L. Edson

There’s dew on the stubble and fog in the air,
And a red eye peeps over the hill,
And a white flag of steam, flaring up with a scream,
Has awakened the dull, drowsing doves from their dream
On the aged, gray granary sill.
And through dew on the grasses and fog in the air,
The throng of the threshers is gathering there.
With toiling and tugging, and lifting and lugging,
They belt the steam engine that’s wheezing and chugging—
And pitchforks are gleaming and laborers laugh,
Preparing to hurry the wheat from the chaff.
The smoke and the vapor float over the trees,
And a stamping horse rattles a chain;
And men with red handkerchiefs looped at their throats
Are climbing the mountains of barley and oats,
The beautiful Alps of the grain.
The smoke and the vapor floats over the trees,
And the sun now has routed the fog on the breeze,
While creaking and turning and slapping and churning,
The belted red thresher has lisped out its yearning—
Has mumbled its hunger in mournfulest note,
And the first sheaf is ground in its ravenous throat.
“Look out, fellers. Let ‘er go!
Pitch them first few bundles slow.
Hold on son, don’t gash my hands
When you’re cuttin’ off them bands.
Wheat’s a-spilling. Hey, you Jack!
Run that cussed wagon back!
Grab a wheel, Bill, help him there.
We ain’t got no wheat to spare.
Wheat’s too high now, I’ll be bound,
To thresh and throw it on the ground.
Belts off now! And I just said
You boys would get her over-fed.
You mustn’t try to rush her through;
The straw’s still tough and damp with dew.
When the sun gets two hours high
You will find it’s plenty dry.
All right, let ‘er go again;
Now we’re threshin’ out the grain.
See how plump them berries is.
That’s the stuff that does the biz.
That there wheat’s from college seed
Of selected Turkey breed;
The land was fall plowed just as soon—
All right, boy, she s blowed for noon.
Ease her down and hold her steady,
Women folks says grub is ready.”
Now the thirsty sun swings lower on his torrid path to earth,
And the yellow straw is piling toward the sky.
Say, a feller learns at threshin what a drink of water’s worth,
For it tastes as sweet as cider when you’re dry.
At last the sun is setting, just a crimson ball of fire,
And a coolness all the atmosphere pervades;
The stalwart feeder’s dusty arms at last begin to tire,
And the last sheaf passes downward through the blades.
Now the whistle’s long drawn wailing is a song of seraphim,
And the stars light up in heaven’s purple deep;
And the smoking and the joking, how it rests the weary limb
Ere bedtime ushers in the perfect sleep.
The day is over,
The world is fed.
And the farmer sleeps
On his feather bed.

4. Walls of Corn

       by Ellen P. Allerton

Smiling and beautiful, heaven’s dome,
Bends softly over our prairie home.
But the wide, wide lands that stretched away
Before my eyes in the days of May,
The rolling prairies’ billowy swell,
Breezy upland and timbered dell,
Stately mansion and hut forlorn,
All are hidden by walls of corn.
All wide the world is narrowed down,
To the walls of corn, now sere and brown.
What do they hold—these walls of corn,
Whose banners toss on the breeze of morn?
He who questions may soon be told;
A great state’s wealth these walls enfold.
No sentinels guard these walls of corn,
Never is sounded the warder’s horn.
Yet the pillars are hung with gleaming gold,
Left all unbarred, though thieves are bold.
Clothes and food for the toiling poor,
Wealth to heap at the rich man’s door;
Meat for the healthy and balm for him
Who moans and tosses in chamber dim;
Shoes for the barefooted, pearls to twine
In the scented tresses of ladies fine;
Things of use for the lowly cot.
Where (bless the corn!) want cometh not;
Luxuries rare for the mansion grand,
Gifts of a rich and fertile land;—
All these things and so many more
It would fill a book to name them o’er,
Are hid and held in these walls of corn,
Whose banners toss in the breeze of morn.
Open the atlas, conned by rule,
In the olden days of the district school.
Point to the rich and bounteous land,
That yields such fruit to the toiler’s hand.
“Treeless desert,” they called it then,
Haunted by beasts, forsaken by men.
Little they knew what wealth untold,
Lay hid where the desolate prairies rolled.
Who would have dared, with brush or pen,
As this land is now, to paint it then?
And how would the wise ones have laughed in scorn,
Had prophet foretold these walls of corn,
Whose banners toss in the breeze of morn!

5. Chore Time

       by Jean Blewett

When I’m at gran ‘dad’s on the farm,
I hear along ’bout six o’clock,
Just when I’m feelin’ snug an’ warm,
“Ho, Bobby, come and feed your stock.”
I jump an’ get into my clothes;
It’s dark as pitch, an’ shivers run
All up my back. Now, I suppose
Not many boys would think this fun.
But when we get out to the barn
The greedy pigs begin to squeal,
An’ I throw in the yellow corn,
A bushel basket to the meal.
Then I begin to warm right up,
I whistle Yankee Doodle” through.
An’ wrastle with the collie pup—
And sometimes gran ‘dad whistles too.
The cow-shed door, it makes a din
Each time we swing it open wide;
I run an’ flash the lantern in,
There stand the shorthorns side by side.
Their breathin’ makes a sort of cloud
Above their heads—there’s no frost here.
“My beauties,” gran’dad says out loud,
“You’11 get your breakfasts, never fear.”
When up I climb into the loft
To fill their racks with clover hay,
Their eyes, all sleepy like and soft,
A heap of nice things seem to say.
The red ox shakes his curly head,
An’ turns on me a solemn face;
I know he’s awful glad his shed
Is such a warm and smelly place.
An’ last of all the stable big,
With harness hanging on each door,
I always want to dance a jig
On that old musty, dusty floor.
It seems so good to be alive,
An’ tendin’ to the sturdy grays,
The sorrels, and old Prince, that’s five—
An’ Lightfoot with her coaxing ways.
My gran’dad tells me she is mine,
An’ I’m that proud! I braid her mane,
An’ smooth her sides until they shine,
An’ do my best to make her vain.
When we have measured oats for all,
Have slapped the grays upon the flanks,
An’ tried to pat the sorrels tall,
An’ heard them whinny out their thanks,
We know it’s breakfast time, and go
Out past the yellow stacks of straw,
Across the creek that used to flow,
But won’t flow now until a thaw.
Behind the trees the sky is pink,
The snow drifts by in fat white flakes.
My gran ‘dad says: “Well, Bob, I think
There comes a smell of buckwheat cakes.”

6. The Old Farmhouse

       by Ellen P. Allerton

A crystal spring, a sunny hill,
A gray old house with mossy sill,
Hemmed in by orchard trees,
With massive trunks of age untold,
Whose luscious fruits, like mounds of gold
When autumn nights grow crisp and cold,
Lay heaped about their knees.
And when the trees, bare, gaunt and grim,
Tnvsing aloft each naked limb,
Breasted the sleety rain;
When the summer sounds were heard no more,
When birds had sought a southern shore,
When flowers lay dead about the door,
And winter reigned again:
Then met the household band beside
A clean swept hearth, a chimney wide,
Where roared a maple fire.
When all the streams were fettered fast,
When fiercely blew the wintry blast,
And clouds of snow went whirling past.
The logs were piled the higher.
How fondly memory recalls
The cheer within those old gray walls,
Beside that shining hearth.
peaceful scene of calm content!
Where happy faces came and went,
And heart with heart was closely blent,
In sadness as in mirth!
I see them all: the aged sire
Deep in some book; the glowing fire
Gleams on his silver hair.
The mother knits; her loving eye
Smiles on the children flitting by;
Her needles, clicking as they fly,
Tell of her household care.
A group of stalwart boys I see,
Brimful of mirth—as boys will be—
When evening tasks were done:
And—least of all—a little maid,
Her small head crowned with auburn braid,
Who, when the merry games were played,
Was foremost in the fun.
How gay we were! what songs we sang,
Till the old walls with echoes rang,
While the wind roared without.
Again we sat, wild-eyed and pale,
And listened to some ancient tale—
How witches rode upon the gale,
Or white ghosts roamed about.
‘Twas long ago; those days are o’er:
I hear those songs no more, no more,
Yet listen while I weep.
Time rules us all. No joys abide.
That household band is scattered wide,
And some lie on the green hillside,
Wrapped in a dreamless sleep.

7. The Old Pasture

       by Isaac Cobb

The green old pasture by the wood,
Where grazed the oxen, sheep and cows,
Where many a noble beech-tree stood,
And many a maple spread its boughs,
In fancy I behold once more,
And look on scenes I knew of yore.
The little knolls where mosses grew,
The ragged stumps of fallen pines,
The vernal flowers of modest hue,
On upright stems and trailing vines,
In memory again appear,
And songs of birds I seem to hear.
There was a brook where fishes dwelt,
And dragon-flies on fierce wings played;
Where blue-flags bloomed, and where we knelt
To gather lilies as we strayed;—
Where reeds and rushes erewhile throve,
Which often into caps we wove.
No wild beasts had their lurking bowers
Within the precincts of the wood,
Though childish fancy at late hours
Looked thitherward in trembling mood;
For bears and wolves too often were
The theme of stories meant to scare.
The squirrel lived in hollow trees,
And sometimes burrowed in the ground:
Oft chattering, his mate to please,
He told of nuts and acorns found;
He ruffed his fur ill very glee,
And looked defiantly at me.
The woodchuck had, beneath a knoll,
A home which he himself had made.
He never wandered from his hole,
When boys or dogs to watch him staid;
But still he found a chance to stray,
And nibbled clover every day.
The tuneful thrush, with answering note,
To cheer his lonely bride essayed;
The whip-poor-will swelled wide his throat,
When evening ruled the solemn glade,—
A terror oft to wicked youth,
When they forgot to tell the truth.
An old gray owl we sometimes heard,
Though where he lived I never learned;
He was a wondrous knowing bird,
Though what he knew we scarce discerned:
He hooted through the hours of night
A solo to the moon’s pale light.
Such was the pasture that I knew,
To which at morn I drove the cows;
They loved the grasses which there grew,
And on the leaves of shrubs to browse,
But came at sunset down the lea,
And waited at the bars for me.
But now, alas! the iron rail
Extends across that pasture green,
And, rolling through the sylvan dale,
The locomotive train is seen;
While shrill, hoarse sounds transfix with fear
The dwellers of the forest near.
The wood, the brook, how changed are they!
Where are our favorite birds and flowers?
They cheer not as in childhood’s day
Our cherished haunts in sylvan bowers;
No more the cows wait at the bars,
As when there were no railway cars.

8. The Deserted Farm

       by Kate Louise Wheeler

An unkept field, whose grasses greet the sun,
And pure, white daisies spread like fallen snow;
The shady nooks, where trout brooks gaily run,
And, ‘mong the trees, the farm-house quaint and low.
Like some worn soldier on the battle fields
It stands upon the old familiar ground,
And to the past it’s former strength it yields,
While naught but desolation broods around.
‘Neath shutters closed the phcebe builds her nest,
While near the eaves the little sparrows fly; All undisturbed they sing their young to rest,
As did a mother in the years gone by.

The wicker gate is falling to decay,
The narrow paths with growing weeds abound;
The long, low shed thro’ which the sunbeams stray,
Is leaning eastward to the grassy ground.
The barn door creaks upon it’s hinges old;
The prop that stayed it from the wfnds that blow
No more stands guard against the heat and cold—
The summer’s rain and winter’s drifts of snow.
The lofts, once laden with the new mown hay,
No longer echo with the merry din;
From beam to beam, where children loved to play,
The spiders many a silken cobweb spin.
No more the tinkle of the distant bell
Disturbs the hush of daylight’s waning hours;
The pasture bars, beside a covered well,
Are twined with grape-vines and with fair wild flowers.
The “Bouncing Bet” is growing near the gate,
The climbing roses bloom beside the door;
The brave “Sweet William,” left alone to fate,
Has struggled upward thro’ the grass once more.
The clover blossoms, pink and white and red,
Fill all the balmy air with perfume sweet;
The honey-suckle proudly bend s it’s head
Close to the door-stone worn by many feet.
Where once a maiden slied a bit of green
Within her shoe, and ·there expectant stood,
To-day the self same “Grandma’s pride” is seen,—
A little bunch of fragrant southern-wood.
The low-eaved porch supports the clinging vine,
While thro’ the roof the summer rain-drops fall;
Upon thee floor a rusty hook and line,
A well-worn bench and silence over all.
A well-sweep, overgrown with moss and mould,
Shelters a hornet’s nest within it’s nook;
Above the running waters clear and cold
An old tin dipper hangs upon it’s hook.
The dull-edged scythe swings idly in the sun,
A grindstone crumbles ‘neath the maple’s shade;
A cart-wheel and the faded coat of one
Who long ago beneath the sod was laid.
Tho’ gone the smile of each familiar face
And merry voices break no more the calm,
Yet Memory sweet shall hallow all the place
And flood with peace the old deserted farm.

Farm Poems That Rhyme

From playful limericks to sonnets that evoke the beauty of the countryside, these poems about farms with rhyme are a delight to read aloud and savor.

1. The Fields of Corn

       by Ellen P. Allerton

The harvest ends, and the song of the reaper
Dies away to its closing strain.
Skies of the midsummer, hotter and deeper,
Bend over shorn fields and shocks of grain.
Fierce is the breath of the July weather;
Tropic heats on the wind are borne;
The grass and the clover are dying together;
Yet brave and green stands the fields of corn.
Brave and green, and with banners streaming,
Wooing the breezes at hottest noon;
Wider flung when the world is dreaming.
Spreading broadly beneath the moon.
The days are cloudless, the air aquiver,
Palpatant, pulsing with waves of heat;
Crispy the aspen leaves quake and shiver,
The cracked earth scorches unwary feet.
The brown thrush, silent, flits through the hedges,
Mute in their coverts the wood-birds hide;
Farther the creek shrinks back from its edges,
The springs cease flowing, the wells are dried.
Still, while the grass and clover are dying,
With strong roots deep in the prairie’s breast,
Plumed and tassled with banners flying,
The tall corn tosses each lordly crest.
Enter the field, a forest hangs over;
Seen from above, ’tis a dark green sea,
Gleaming with lights where the sun, like a lover,
Showers his kisses so fierce and so free.
Lo, through the cornfields a miracle passes,
Vainly attempted by magic of old.
Sunlight and salts and invisible gasses
Here are transmitted to bars of gold.
Triumph of alchemy; daily and nightly
Wrought on tlie silence before our eyes
Miracle, yet do we note it lightly;
Wonders familiar wake no surprise.
Sole dependence of many a toiler,
Watching the night, noon and morn skies,
Fearing, trembling, lest the drouth, the spoiler,
Sear with hot fingers the fields of corn.
Still, as yet, while the clover is dying,
While the buds fall dead e’er the flowers are born.
With life intact, and with banners flying,
Green and beautiful stands the corn.

2. The Farmer

       by Ellwood Roberts

Toiling early and toiling late,
Toiling patiently, day by day;
Joy and peace on the farmer wait,
As he faithfully works away.
Plowing, planting, with steady hand,
Singing cheerily, now and then;
Spring awaking, o’er all the land,
Makes of him the gladdest of men.
Turns he furrows where soon shall stand
Bright green ranks of beautiful corn;
Grand his mission, his life-work grand,
Though his fingers with toil are worn.
Health is his, and contentment, too,
For, fulfilling the grand design,
Treads he pathways to Nature true;
She rewards him with peace benign.

3. The Old Windmill

       by Clarence Albert Murch

Battered windmill, old and gray,
Swinging there athwart the sky,
Sport of every idle breeze
That may chance to wander by.
Blow they fair or blow they foul,
Still you wag your dingy cowl
Through the livelong night and day,
Weather-beaten, old and gray.
Is that endless monotone—
Half a shriek and half a groan—
That in dreary cadence drones
From your old rheumatic bones,
Echo of some sylvan tune,
Or forgotten forest rune
From the aisles of long ago,
Calling, calling, soft and low
Through the banished years that creep
Back to some old forest dim,
Where the woodland zephyrs sweep
Dancing leaf and swaying limb?
As the lazy breezes blow
All your gaunt arms to and fro,
Swinging ever round and round,
To that weird, unearthly sound,
Do you ever wish that some
Wandering Don Quixote of wind
With its stormy lance might come—
End that weary, ceaseless grind?
Life is like a windmill gray,
Swinging ’twixt the earth and sky;
Sport of every passing breeze
That may chance to wander by.
Still we grind with smile or scowl,
Blow they fair or blow they foul;
Sure that we shall be some day,
Weather-beaten, old and gray.

4. The Path Through The Corn

       by Dinah Maria [Mulock] Craik

Wavy and bright in the summer air,
Like a pleasant sea when the wind blows fair,
And its roughest breath has scarcely curled
The green highway to a distant world,
Soft whispers passing from shore to shore,
As from hearts content, yet desiring more,
Who feels forlorn,
Wandering thus down the path through the corn?
A short space since, and the dead leaves lay
Moldering under the hedgerow grey,
Nor hum of insect, nor voice of bird,
O’er the desolate field was ever heard;
Only at eve the pallid snow
Blushed rose-red in the red sun-glow;
Till, one blest morn,
Shot up into life the young green corn.
Small and feeble, slender and pale,
It bent its head to the winter gale,
Harkened the wren’s soft note of cheer,
Hardly believing spring was near:
Saw chestnuts bud out and campions blow,
And daisies mimic the vanished snow
Where it was born,
On either side of the path through the corn.
The corn, the corn, the beautiful corn,
Rising wonderful, morn by morn:
First, scarce as high as a fairy’s wand,
Then, just in reach of a child’s wee hand;
Then growing, growing, tall, brave, and strong:
With the voice of new harvests in its song;
While in fond scorn
The lark out-carols the whispering corn.
A strange, sweet path, formed day by day,
How, when, and wherefore, we cannot say,
No more than of our life-paths we know,
Whether our eyes shall ever see
The wheat in the ear or the fruit on the tree;
Yet, who’s forlorn?
He who watered the furrows can ripen the corn.

5. Making Hay

       by Mary B. C. Slade

Through the meadow-grass, dewy, and tall, and green,
Drives, whirring and whizzing, the mowing-machine,
The horses are prancing, the sharp blades shine,
And the grass lies low in a level line.
To and fro fly the birds, and chipper and chatter,
And seem to be wondering what is the matter;
While Bobolink’s wife makes a frightened ado,
As she looks for her nest where the horses went through.
The day grows hot, and the daisies wither;
The funny horse-tedder drives hither and thither,
And scatters and tosses the grain as it goes,
Like a monstrous grasshopper, stubbing his toes.
Then the rake comes on where the tedder has been,
And rakes up and drops out its lines of green;
And the field so fair in the early morn,
When the noontime comes, is all shaven and shorn.
So the wilting grass, and the fading clover,
They all day long pitch over and over;
And men with their forks, as the sun goes down,
Pile the little round heaps, like an Esquimaux town.
While the daylight fades in the golden west,
Let us lie on the odorous hay and rest;
Our couch is as soft as a velvet throne,
And sweet as a breeze from the spice-isles blown.
To-morrow the carts for the hay will come,
And the willing old oxen will carry it home;
And the children shall ride to the barn away,
On the very tip-top of the load of hay.

6. A Country Home

       by Ellen P. Allerton

A nook among the hills, a little farm,
Whose fertile acres yield us daily bread:
A homely, low-browed dwelling, snug and warm,
With wide blue skies hung overhead.
No costly splendor here no gilded glow;
No dear bought pictures hang upon the walls;
But bright and happy faces come and go,
And through the windows God’s sweet sunshine falls.
We are not rich in heaps of hoarded gold;
We are not poor, for we can keep at bay
The poor man’s hunting spectres, want and cold,
Can keep from owing debts we cannot pay.
With wholesome plenty is our table spread,
With genial comfort glows our evening fire;
The fierce night winds may battle overhead—
Safe in our shelter, though strife be dire.
When days grow long, and winter’s storms are o’er,
Here come the first birds of the early spring,
And build their cunning nests beside the door,
Teaching sweet lessons as they work and sing.
Here come our friends—a dear and cherished few—
Dearer, perchance, than if they numbered more:
We greet them with a hand-clasp warm and true,
And give them of the best we have in store.
What though the rooms be small, and low the roof?
What though we can but offer simple fare?
It matters not; so friendships warp and woof
Are spun of gold, for these we need not care.
We hear the great world surging like a sea,
But the loud roar of winds and waves at war,
Subdued by distance, comes melodiously,
A soft and gentle murmur, faint and far.
We see the small go up, the great come down,
And bless the peaceful safety of our lot.
The broken scepter and the toppling crown,
And crash of falling thrones—these shake us not.
We have some weary toil to struggle through,
Some trials, that we bravely strive to meet:
We have our sorrows, as all mortals do;
We have our joys, too, pure, and calm, and sweet.
Is such a life too even in its flow?
Too silent, calm, too barren of event?
It’s very joys to still? I do not know:
I think he conquers all who wins content.

7. The Hens

       by Elizabeth Madox Roberts

The night was coming very fast;
It reached the gate as I ran past.
The pigeons had gone to the tower of the church
And all the hens were on their perch,
Up in the barn, and I thought I heard
A piece of a little purring word.
I stopped inside, waiting and staying,
To try to hear what the hens were saying.
They were asking something, that was plain,
Asking it over and over again.
One of them moved and turned around,
Her feathers made a ruffled sound,
A ruffled sound, like a bushful of birds,
And she said her little asking words.
She pushed her head close into her wing,
But nothing answered anything.

8. The American Farmer

       by Thomas Cogswell Upham

The thoughtful farmer reads the Sacred Book,
Then, with the wife and children of his heart,
With mind serene, and reverential look,
He humbly kneels, as is the Christian’s part,
And worships Thee, Our Father, Thee, who art
The good man’s hope, the poor man’s only stay;
Who hast a balm for sorrow’s keenest dart,
A smile for those to thee who humbly pray,
Which, like the morning sun, drives every cloud away.
Thou Lord of heaven above and earth below,
Our Maker and our Guide, our hope, our all!
Be thou the farmer’s friend. In want and woe,
Teach him to look to thee, on thee to call;
Nor let his steps in error’s pathway fall.
With him preserve his loved, his native land;
In innocence and honor let her stand;
And centuries yet to come, oh, hold her in thy hand!

Summer Farm Poems

Celebrate the beauty of the summer season with these vibrant and evocative summer farm poems. So, take a moment to bask in the beauty of these summertime odes to the natural world.

1. The Barley Field

       by Jean Blewett

The sunset has faded, there’s but a tinge,
Saffron pale, where a star of white
Has tangled itself in the trailing fringe
Of the pearl-gray robe of the summer night.
O the green of the barley fields grows deep,
The breath of the barley fields grows rare;
There is rustle and glimmer, sway and sweep—
The wind is holding high revel there,
Singing the song it has often sung—
Hark to the troubadour glad and bold:
“Sweet is the earth when the summer is young
And the barley fields are green and gold!”

2. Summer Farm

       by Norman Maccaig

Straws like tame lightnings lie about the grass
And hang zigzag on hedges. Green as glass
The water in the horse-trough shines.
Nine ducks go wobbling by in two straight lines.

A hen stares at nothing with one eye,
Then picks it up. Out of an empty sky
A swallow falls and, flickering through
The barn, dives up again into the dizzy blue.

I lie, not thinking, in the cool, soft grass,
Afraid of where a thought might take me – as
This grasshopper with plated face
Unfolds his legs and finds himself in space.

Self under self, a pile of selves I stand
Threaded on time, and with metaphysic hand
Lift the farm like a lid and see
Farm within farm, and in the centre, me.

3. The Man With The Axe

       by Horace Dumont Herr

The Summer has come and the Summer is past,
And “the man with the hoe,” he is out of a job,
The pastures are bare and are swept by the blast,
And the cattle for grass must eat “corn on the cob,”
While scraggy-haired colts are turned out to the stalks,
But the woodman he whistles a tune as he walks.
The Summer brings harvest of oats and of wheat,
And the meadows are strewn with the fragrant new hay;
And Autumn gives apples, and pumpkin and beet,
And the fruits and the nuts make the gatherers gay;
But fruits for the cellar and wheat for the stacks
Have a rival in the harvest of the wood chopper’s ax.
The scythe is keen edged and the sword is a power,
And the reaper, old Time, mows a path thro’ the years,
And age falls in ripeness and childhood in flower,
And the sword hews a channel for blood and for tears;
But the woodman he smites with a stroke that ne’er tires,
For his ax cleaves the wood for the home-altar fires.
The snowflakes have wrapped in white down the dark earth,
And the woods a black fringe show against the cold sky;
When all appears dead that in Summer had birth,
And there’s not a bird songster a solo to try,
Then cheery as notes of the robin in Spring
Does the ax of the woodman re-echo and ring.
A man of wood-craft the good axman is he,
He knows well the name and the nature of wood,
Can chip, and make fall any sort of a tree
In the very direction he willed that it should;
And when it is down on its body he stands,
And he severs the giant, with the ax in his hands.
This man of the woods is a surgeon of trees,
He can chop a straight cut or a flying slant chip,
He can halve with his wedge, if it so should him please,
And can quarter, and heart, and around the knot slip,
‘Til body and limbs into cordwood he racks,
For an artist is he with the wedge and the ax.
He swings his great maul like the hammer of Thor,
And the cord-lengths fly open of oak and of beach,
‘Till the clearing at last is with wood scattered o’er,
And heaped up as high as the chopper can reach
Are the tepees of brush that the axman has made
In the places where trees by his ax were low laid.
All corded and straight thro’ the Summer shall lie
All the wood that the woodman in Winter has chopped,
In wind and in sun will the sticks slowly dry,
And when Winter again plow and reaper has stopped,
The farmer to sheds with his horses will draw
What the axman has cut for the buck and the saw.
And often the farmer, the evening before,
Will upon his red wagon pile up a good load
To haul it to town for some dwelling or store,
And the wheels of his broad-tread will sing on the road,
With four horses drawing it over the snow,
For the axman’s dry wood to the city must go.

4. Agriculture

       by Lydia Sigourney

Saw you the farmer at his plough,
As you were passing by?
Or wearied ‘neath his noon-day toil
When summer suns were high?
And thought you that his lot was hard?
And did you thank your God
That you and yours were not condemn’d
Thus like a slave to plod?
Come, see him at his harvest-home,
When garden, field, and tree,
Conspire, with flowing stores to fill
His barn and granary.
His healthful children gaily sport
Amid the new-mown hay,
Or gladly aid, with vigorous arm,
His task as best they may.
The dog partakes his master’s joy,
And guards the loaded wain,
The feathery people clap their wings,
And lead their youngling train.
Perchance, the hoary grandsire’s eye,
The glowing scene surveys,
And breathes a blessing on his race,
Or guides their evening praise.
The Harvest-Giver is their friend,
The Maker of the soil,
And Earth, the Mother, gives them bread,
And cheers their patient toil.
Come, join them round their wintry hearth,
Their heartfelt-pleasures see,
And you can better judge how blest.
The farmer’s life may be.

5. The Fire-Flies in The Wheat

       by Harriet Prescott Spofford

Ah, never of a summer night
Will life again be half as sweet
As in that country of delight
Where straying, staying, with happy feet,
We watched the fire-flies in the wheat.
Full dark and deep the starless night,
Still throbbing with the summer heat;
There was no ray of any light,
But dancing, glancing, far and fleet,
Only the fire-flies in the wheat.
In that great country of delight,
Where youth and love the borders meet,
We paused and lingered for the sight,
While sparkling, darkling, flashed the sheet
Of splendid fire-flies in the wheat.
That night the earth seemed but a height
Whereon to rest our happy feet,
Watching one moment that wide flight
Where lightening, brightening, mount and meet
Those burning fire-flies in the wheat.
What whispered words whose memory might
Make an old heart with madness beat,
Whose sense no music can recite,
That chasing, racing, rhythmic beat
Sings out with fire-flies in the wheat.
O never of such blest despite
Dreamed I, whom fate was wont to cheat—
And like a star your face, and white—
While mingling, tingling, wild as sleet,
Stormed all those fire-flies through the wheat.
Though of that country of delight
The farther bounds we shall not greet,
Still, sweet of all, that summer night,
That maddest, gladdest night most sweet,
Watching the fire-flies in the wheat!

Final Thoughts

Whether you’re a farmer, a city dweller, poems for farm offer a powerful and evocative way to connect with the beauty and rhythms of rural life.

From humorous observations to poignant reflections, these works capture the essence of the land, the animals, and the people who work it.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this collection of poetry about farming and found inspiration in the rich and vibrant world of the countryside.

We invite you to share your own favorite farm poems in the comments below and continue the conversation about the beauty of the rural life.

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