by Elizabeth Bentley
GREAT God! to whom the birds for food
Still raise the expecting eye;
Thou whom the raven's callow brood
Implore with ceaseless cry.
Father! whose providential care
No creature begs in vain,
To mark the Gleaners' humble prayer,
Thine ear shall not disdain.
When Spring her blooming empire yields,
When Summer's fruits are shed,
And bounteous Autumn o'er the fields
Her golden tinge has spread;
O! may the sun's prolific powers
Diffuse the ripening glow;
Nor torrents of unwelcome showers
The year's best hopes o'erthrow.
Fresh as the roseate beams of morn,
We children of the cot
Forsake our home at early dawn,
Nor deem severe our lot.
Cheerful across th' abundant soil,
We urge our daily task,
And as the reaper ends his toil,
Our scanty pittance ask.
The scatter'd ears to fill our hand,
We pick with patient care;
Ye sons of wealth, your hearts expand,
Nor grudge our slender share.
So may you in full barns rejoice,
To Heav'n glad Peans raise,
Nor ask in vain the Gleaner's voice,
To swell your songs of praise.
Last updated January 14, 2019