POETRY

DROUGHT IN THE VALLEY

Fred Jacob February 1 1911
POETRY

DROUGHT IN THE VALLEY

Fred Jacob February 1 1911

DROUGHT IN THE VALLEY

Heavy with heat the murky sky hangs low;

The slopes of pasture-land are bare and seared;

A few rank burdocks, gaunt lone guards, are seen Within the hollows. Ragged willow trees— Whose leaves scarce shiver when a scorching breeze Quivers and dies—stand by the parching stones That like a narrow trail of bleaching bones,

Mark where the streamlet died. And all is still Save when across the open space a crow Toils wearily from shade to shade; or when A small cicada lifts a protest shrill,

Whirrs for a moment and is dumb again.

A molten ball behind the Western hills

The stifled sun sinks down. A bird’s faint notes

Sound from the shelter of the underbrush;

The faded maple woods are color strewn;

Then suddenly—up from the farm land floats A milking call. It breaks upon the hush And all the dread oppressive silence fills;

The throbbing earth stirs with uneasy moan, And overhead a star keeps watch alone.

Fred Jacob