The Growing of the Grain

The Wind

Who is it helps the grain to grow?

"We do," said the winds that blow.

"We stir the brown and ancient earth

In which the good grain has its birth;

We grind the mighty rocks to sand

And scatter them across the land;

We rouse the lazy clouds that lie

Within the pastures of the sky

And drive them over fields of grain

That need the gentle touch of rain."

Who is it helps the grain to grow?

"We do," said the winds that blow.

 

The Snow

Who is helps the grain to grow?

"We do," said the ice and snow.

"We cover up the frozen ground

With fleet blankets tucked around

The little seeds with drowsy eyes

Who dream of May and summer skies;

The little seeds of grain who keep

The thought of April in their sleep.

We wrap them safe and snug and warm,

Protected from the winter storm."

Who is it helps the grain to grow?

"We do," said the ice and snow.

 

The Rain

Who helps to grow the springing grain?

"I do," said the gentle rain.

"I bring the little waking seeds

Water for their growing needs;

I give the white and hidden roots

Water for their bodies' fruits;

And when the sun in hot July

Burns across the meadows dry,

I bring the blessed cool reprieves

Of water for the thirsty leaves."

Who helps to grow the springing grain?

"I do," said the gentle rain.

 

The Sun

Who is it quickens growth begun?

"I do," said the golden sun.

"I fill the leaves with sunlight power,

Fill the roots and fill the flower,

Fill the seeds and fill the stem,

And that is how I quicken them.

In all the world the plants alone

Can make my energy their own

And with it build the living food

To feed the growing multitude."

Who is it quickens growth begun?

"I do," said the golden sun.

 

The Air

Who is it helps the sun and rain

Grow the lovely springing grain?

"I do," said the air tight curled

About the roundness of the world.

"All the green leaves everywhere

Take the gift I have to share.

Part they use for growth and flower

With the help of sun and shower.

Part they give me back again

For breath of animals and men.

And so I help the sun and rain

Grow the lovely springing grain."

 

The Earth

Who helps to grow the springing grain?

"I," said the earth on hill and plan.

"When the roots come poking down

Through my larder cool and brown,

Little roots from bursting seed,

They will find the food they need,

Food to grow a stem and leaves,

Food to swell the yellow sheaves,

Food to fill the shining pot

With a porridge piping hot."

Who helps to grow the springing grain?

"I," said the earth on hill and plain.

 

Kind and friendly things are these;

The sun that shines on land and seas,

The old brown earth, the springing grain,

The green and searching April rain,

The softly falling winter snow,

The little winds that sing and blow.

 

-Excerpted from Grain Through The Ages