Patrick Kavanagh

On An Apple-Ripe September Morning

On an apple-ripe September morning Through the mist-chill fields I went With a pitch-fork on my shoulder Less for use than for devilment. The threshing mill was set-up, I knew, In Cassidy's haggard last night, And we owed them a day at the threshing Since last year. O it was delight To be paying bills of laughter And chaffy gossip in kind With work thrown in to ballast The fantasy-soaring mind. As I crossed the wooden bridge I wondered As I looked into the drain If ever a summer morning should find me Shovelling up eels again. And I thought of the wasps' nest in the bank And how I got chased one day Leaving the drag and the scraw-knife behind, How I covered my face with hay. The wet leaves of the cocksfoot Polished my boots as I Went round by the glistening bog-holes Lost in unthinking joy. I'll be carrying bags to-day, I mused, The best job at the mill With plenty of time to talk of our loves As we wait for the bags to fill. Maybe Mary might call round... And then I came to the haggard gate, And I knew as I entered that I had come Through fields that were part of no earthly estate.

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