The Sentinel

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The Wind-Swept Wheat

By Mary Ainge De Vere (“Madeline Bridges”)

Faint, faint and clear,
Faint as the music that in dreams we hear
Shaking the curtain-fold of sleep,
That shuts away
The world’s hoarse voice, the sights and sounds of day,
Her sorry joys, her phantoms false and fleet,—
So softly, softly stirs
The wind’s low murmur in the rippled wheat.

From west to east
The warm breath blows, the slender heads droop low
As if in prayer;
Again, more lightly tossed in merry play,
They bend and bow and sway
With measured beat,
But never rest,—through shadow and through sun
Goes on the tender rustle of the wheat.

Dreams more than sleep
Fall on the listening heart and lull its care;
Dead years send back
Some treasured, unforgotten tune.
Ah, long ago,
When sun and sky were sweet,
In happy noon,
We stood breast-high, mid waves of ripened grain,
And heard the wind make music in the wheat.

Not for to-day—
Not for this hour alone—the melody
So soft and ceaseless thrills the dreamer’s ear:
Of all that was and is, of all that yet shall be,
It holds a part.
Love, sorrow, longing, pain,
The restlessness that yearns,
The thirst that burns,
The bliss that like a fountain overflows,
The deep repose,
Good that we might have known, but shall not know,
The hope God took, the joy He made complete,—
Life’s chords all answer from the windswept wheat!

Each year I travel to the Palouse region of eastern Washington for a few days to photograph the wheat harvest. This photo is from a few years ago and was taken near Washtucna on Route 26. I’m already looking forward to another trip in July. You can see more of my photos from this region at

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