As the Story is Told: The Threshing Machine

As the Story is told: A history of Morpeth and communityThis week’s excerpt from “As the Story is Told” is a poem called The Threshing Machine.

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The Threshing Machine (Marion Olson)drawing of a pump

When summer was ended and all down the lane
The wheat fields are waving with ripe golden grain,
When orchards are heavy with fruit on the bough
And barns are o’erflowing with hay in the mow,
Then I love to remember the wonderful scene
That was made by the old-fashioned threshing machine.

Wood fed to the boiler turned water to steam-engine
And pulling the throttle, the whistle would scream.
with a chug and a hiss and belching black smoke
The belt whirred and flapped as the engine was stoked.
Through a galvanized pipe the straw blew to a stack,
And the clean golden grain streamed into a sack.

The farmers all gathered with banter and laughs,
Their faces sun-tanned and dusted with chaff.
A long train of teams came in from the fields,
Drawing the wagons with summer’s rich yield.
From sheaves of full grain that the binder had reaped
The bins were soon filled with bright golden heaps.

We children stood round, all watching with awe
The mightiest engine that ever we saw.
The shiny tin bucket with water we filled,
And drank from the dipper with many a spill.
The small boys longed for the day when they, too,
Would be able to work with the big threshing crew.

The big kitchen buzzed with gay womenfolks
As they hustled and bustled with laughter and jokes.
The range was all covered with kettles and pans.
No one ever tasted a dinner so grand.
They washed in a basin set out on the porch
Then to the long table the hungry crew marched.

Our modern-day combines, efficient and new,
Do more in a day than a twelve-man crew.
But I love to recall the neighbourly scene
That was made by the old-fashioned threshing machine.

—from Ideals Publication

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One thought on “As the Story is Told: The Threshing Machine

  1. Pingback: As the Story is Told: The Barn Raising | The Farmhouse Chronicles

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