The Painful Plough

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One of the oldest agricultural ditties

'Come, all you jolly ploughmen, of courage stout and bold,
That labour all the winter in stormy winds, and cold;
To clothe the fields with plenty, your farm-yards to renew,
To crown them with contentment, behold the painful plough!'

2. 'Hold! ploughman,' said the gardener, 'don't count your trade with ours,
Walk through the garden, and view the early flowers;
Also the curious border and pleasant walks go view, -
There's none such peace and plenty performed by the plough!'

3. 'Hold! gardener,' said the ploughman, 'my calling don't despise,
Each man for his living upon his trade relies;
Were it not for the ploughman, both rich and poor would rue,
For we are all dependent upon the painful plough.

4. 'Adam in the garden was sent to keep it right,
But the length of time he stayed there, I believe it was one night;
Yet of his own labour, I call it not his due,
Soon he lost his garden, and went to hold the plough.

5. 'For Adam was a ploughman when ploughing first begun,
The next that did succeed him was Cain, the eldest son;
Some of the generation this calling now pursue;
That bread may not be wanting, remains the painful plough.

6. Samson was the strongest man, and Solomon was wise,
Alexander for to conquer 'twas all his daily prise;
King David was valiant, and many thousands slew,
Yet none of these brave heroes could live without the plough!

7. Behold the wealthy merchant, that trades in foreign seas,
And brings home gold and treasure for those who live at ease;
With fine silks and spices, and fruits also, too,
They are brought from the Indies by virtue of the plough.

8. 'For they must have bread, biscuit, rice pudding, flour and peas,
To feed the jolly sailors as they sail o'er the seas;
And the man that brings them will own to what is true,
He cannot sail the ocean without the painful plough!

9. 'I hope there's none offended at me for singing this,
For it is not intended for anything amiss.
If you consider rightly, you'll find what I say is true,
For all that you can mention depends upon the plough.'

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