Out of Work

Kenneth H Ashley

Alone at the shut of the day was I,
With a star or two in a frost cleared sky,
And the byre smell in the air.

I'd tramped the length and breadth of the fen,
But never a farmer wanted men;
Naught doing anywhere.

A great calm moon rose back of the mill,
And I told myself it was God's will
Who went hungry and who went fed.

I tried to whistle; I tried to be brave,
But the new ploughed fields smelt dank as the grave;
And I wished I were dead.