From the soft dyke-road, crooked and waggon-worn, Comes the great load of rustling scented hay, Slow-drawn with heavy swing and creaky sway Through the cool freshness of the windless morn. The oxen, yoked and sturdy, horn to horn, Sharing the rest and toil of night and day, Bend head and neck to the long hilly way By many a season’s labour marked and torn. On the broad sea of dyke the gathering heat Waves upward from the grass, where road on road Is swept before the tramping of the teams. And while the oxen rest beside the sweet New hay, the loft receives the early load, With hissing stir, among the dusty beams.

John Frederic Herbin

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