In the drifting rain the cows in the yard are as black
And wet and shiny as rocks in an ebbing tide
But they smell of the soil, as leaves lying under trees
Smell of the soil, damp and steaming, warm.
The shed is an island of light and warmth, the night
Was water-cold and starless out in the paddock.
Crouched on the stool, hearing only the beat
The monotonous heat and hiss of the smooth machines,
The choking gasp of the cups and rattle of hooves,
How easy to fall asleep again, to think
Of the man in the city asleep; he does not feel
The night encircle him, the grasp of mud.
But now the hills in the east return, are soft
And grey with mist, the night recedes, and the
The earth as it turns towards the sun is young.
Again, renewed, its history wiped away
Like the tears of a child. Can the earth be young again
And not the heart? Let the man in the city sleep.
Ruth Dallas Collected Poems 15