“Harvest End” by R.S.Thomas [d. 25/9/00] (From the Welsh of Caledfryn)

by Kim on September 25, 2012

The seasons fly;
the flowers wither;
the leaves lie
on the ground. Listen
to the sad song
of the reapers: ‘Ripe
corn’, as over the sea
the birds go.

Suddenly the year
ends. The wind rages;
everything in its path
breaks. Dire weather;
in front of a stick
fire, fetched from
the forest, firm and infirm
cower within doors.

The longest of lives
too soon slips by.
Careers fold and with
them good looks fade.
Spring’s bloom is spent,
summer is done, too.
With a rush we come
to winter in the grave.

R.S. Thomas, Collected Poems 1945-1990 (London: Phoenix, 1993), p. 487.

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