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  The Ploughman  

 

Tearing up the stubborn soil,
        Trudging, drudging, toiling, moiling,
        Hands, and feet, and garments soiling--
Who would grudge the ploughman's toil?
            Yet there's lustre in his eye,
            Borrowed from yon glowing sky,
            And there's meaning in his glances
            That bespeak no dreamer's fancies;
            For his mind has precious lore
            Gleaned from Nature's sacred store.

Toiling up yon weary hill,
        He has worked since early morning,
        Ease, and rest, and pleasure scorning,
And he's at his labor still,
            Though the slanting, western beam
            Quivering on the glassy stream,
            And yon old elm's lengthened shadow
            Flung athwart the verdant meadow,
            Tell that shadowy twilight grey
            Cannot now be far away.

See! he stops and wipes his brow,--
        Marks the rapid sun's descending--
        Marks his shadow far-extending--
Deems it time to quit the plough.
            Weary man and weary steed
            Welcome food and respite need
            'Tis the hour when bird and bee
            Seek repose, and why not he?
            Nature loves the twilight blest,
            Let the toil worn ploughman rest

Ye, who nursed upon the breast
        Of ease and pleasure enervating,
        Ever new delights creating,
Which not long retain their zest
            Ere upon your taste they pall,
            What avail your pleasures all?
            In his hard, but pleasant labor,
            He, your useful, healthful neighbor,
            Finds enjoyment, real, true,
            Vainly sought by such as you

Nature's open volume lies,
        Richly tinted, brightly beaming,
        With its varied lessons teeming,
All outspread before his eyes.
            Dewy glades and opening flowers,
            Emerald meadows, vernal bowers,
            Sun and shade, and bird and bee,
            Fount and forest, hill and lea,--
            All things beautiful and fair,
            His benignant teachers are

Tearing up the stubborn soil,
        Trudging, drudging, toiling, moiling,
        Hands, and feet, and garments soiling--
Who would grudge the ploughman's toil?
            Yet 'tis health and wealth to him,
            Strength of nerve, and strength of limb,
            Light and fervor in his glances,
            Life and beauty in his fancies,
            Learned and happy, brave and free,
            Who so proud and blest as he?

       - Mrs. J. C. Yule


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