The Ingrate

By night we looked across my field,
The tasseled corn was fine to see,
The moon was yellow on the rows
And seemed so wonderful to me,
That with an old provincial pride
I praised my moonlit Tennessee,
And thought my poor befriended man
Would never dare to disagree.

He was a frosty Russian man
And wore a bushy Russian beard;
He had two furtive faded eyes
That some did horror once had seared;
I wondered if they ever would
Forget the horrors they had feared;
Yet when I praised my pleasant field
This stupid fellow almost jeered.

“Your moon shines very well, my friend,
Your fields are good enough, I know;
At home our fields in the winter-time
Were always white, and shining so!
Our nights went beautiful like day,
And bitter cold our winds would blow;
And I remember how it looked,
Dear God, my country of the snow!”


This poem is in the public domain, and originally appeared in Poems about God (Henry Holt and Co, 1919).