Adam and Eve together stood
Amid the crop they both were tending,
While far away the feathery wood
Of Eden in the wind was bending.

And Adam, feeling in his veins
The better for his splendid tussle,
Laughed at his body for its pains,
And showed to Eve his hardening muscle.

Fine was the bread his sweat had earned,
Despite the fields of rock and thistle,
While daily wounds and baulkings turned
His olden softness into gristle.

So, thinking deeply of the life
Of chartered idleness and blisses,
Suddenly he seized his comely wife
And took her mouth by storm with kisses.

"Dear heart!" he cried, "we fare the best
When earth and labour roughly grapple.
Who could have thought the only rest
Worth having, centred in an apple!"

More verses by Norman Rowland Gale

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