Welcome to Poetry.com

Poetry.com is a huge collection of poems from famous and amateur poets from around the world — collaboratively published by a community of authors and contributing editors.

Navigate through our poetry database by subjects, alphabetically or simply search by keywords. You can submit a new poem, discuss and rate existing work, listen to poems using voice pronunciation and even translate pieces to many common and not-so-common languages.


In the warm yellow smile of the morning,
 She stands at the lattice pane,
And watches the strong young binders
 Stride down to the fields of grain.
And she counts them over and over
 As they pass her cottage door:
Are they six, she counts them seven;
 Are they seven, she counts one more.

When the sun swings high in the heavens,
 And the reapers go shouting home,
She calls to the household, saying,
 'Make haste! for the binders have come
And Johnnie will want his dinner -
 He was always a hungry child';
And they answer, 'Yes, it ia waiting';
 Then tell you, 'Her brain is wild.'

Again, in the hush of the evening,
 When the work of the day is done,
And the binders go singing homeward
 In the last red rays of the sun,
She will sit at the threshold waiting,
 And with her withered face lights with joy:
'Come, Johnnie, ' she says, as they pass her,
 'Come into the house, my boy.'

Five summers ago her Johnnie
 Went out in the smile of the morn,
Singing across the meadow,
 Striding down through the corn -
He towered above the binders,
 Walking on either side,
And the mother's heart within her
 Swelled with exultant pride.

For he was the light of the household -
 His brown eyes were wells of truth,
And his face was the face of the morning,
 Lit with its pure, fresh youth,
And his song rang out from the hilltops
 Like the mellow blast of a horn,
And he strode o'er the fresh shorn meadows,
 And down through the rows of corn.

But hushed were the voices of singing,
 Hushed by the presence of death,
As back to the cottage they bore him -
 In the noontide's scorching breath,
For the heat of the sun had slain him,
 Had smitten the heart in his breast,
And he who towered above them
 Lay lower than all the rest.

The grain grows ripe in the sunshine,
 And the summers ebb and flow,
And the binders stride to their labour
 And sing as they come and go;
But never again from the hilltops
 Echoes the voice like a horn;
Never up from the meadows,
 Never back from the corn.

Yet the poor, crazed brain of the mother
 Fancies him always near;
She is blest in her strange delusion,
 For she knoweth no pain nor fear,
And always she counts the binders
 As they pass by her cottage door;
Are they six, she counts them seven;
 Are they seven, she counts one more.

Rate this poem:(0.00 / 0 votes)
Font size:
Collection  Edit     

Submitted on May 13, 2011

2:09 min read

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Ella Wheeler Wilcox was an American author and poet. more…

All Ella Wheeler Wilcox poems | Ella Wheeler Wilcox Books

FAVORITE (0 fans)

Discuss this Ella Wheeler Wilcox poem with the community:



    Find a translation for this poem in other languages:

    Select another language:

    • - Select -
    • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
    • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
    • Español (Spanish)
    • Esperanto (Esperanto)
    • 日本語 (Japanese)
    • Português (Portuguese)
    • Deutsch (German)
    • العربية (Arabic)
    • Français (French)
    • Русский (Russian)
    • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
    • 한국어 (Korean)
    • עברית (Hebrew)
    • Gaeilge (Irish)
    • Українська (Ukrainian)
    • اردو (Urdu)
    • Magyar (Hungarian)
    • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
    • Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Italiano (Italian)
    • தமிழ் (Tamil)
    • Türkçe (Turkish)
    • తెలుగు (Telugu)
    • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
    • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
    • Čeština (Czech)
    • Polski (Polish)
    • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Românește (Romanian)
    • Nederlands (Dutch)
    • Ελληνικά (Greek)
    • Latinum (Latin)
    • Svenska (Swedish)
    • Dansk (Danish)
    • Suomi (Finnish)
    • فارسی (Persian)
    • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
    • հայերեն (Armenian)
    • Norsk (Norwegian)
    • English (English)


    Use the citation below to add this poem to your bibliography:


    "Daft" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 23 Jan. 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/10582/daft>.

    We need you!

    Help us build the largest poetry community and poems collection on the web!

    More poems by

    Ella Wheeler Wilcox



    Are you a poetry master?

    What are the first eight lines of a sonnet called?
    • A. octave
    • B. octet
    • C. octopus
    • D. octane

    Our favorite collection of

    Famous Poets


    Thanks for your vote! We truly appreciate your support.