Strange Fruit

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This year the grain is heavy--ripe;
The apple shows a ruddier stripe;
Never berries so profuse
Blackened with so sweet a juice
On brambly hedges, summer--dyed.
The yellow leaves begin to glide;
But Earth in careless lap--ful treasures
Pledge of over--brimming measures,
As if some rich unwonted zest
Stirred prodigal within her breast.
And now, while plenty's left uncared,
The fruit unplucked, the sickle spared,
Where men go forth to waste and spill,
Toiling to burn, destroy and kill,
Lo, also side by side with these
Beast--hungers, ravening miseries,
The heart of man has brought to birth
Splendours richer than his earth.
Now in the thunder--hour of fate
Each one is kinder to his mate;
The surly smile; the hard forbear;
There's help and hope for all to share;
And sudden visions of goodwill
Transcending all the scope of ill
Like a glory of rare weather
Link us in common light together,
A clearness of the cleansing sun,
Where none's alone and all are one;
And touching each a priceless pain
We find our own true hearts again.
No more the easy masks deceive:
We give, we dare, and we believe.

© Robert Laurence Binyon