The Useful Plow
The Plough's Praise

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Melody -
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Traditional ballad

A country life is sweet!
In moderate cold and heat,
To walk in the air, how pleasant and fair!
In every field of wheat,
The fairest of flowers adorning the bowers,
And every meadow's brow;
To that I say, no courtier may
Compare with they who clothe in grey,
And follow the useful plow.

2. They rise with the morning lark,
And labour till almost dark;
Then folding their sheep, they hasten to sleep;
While every pleasant park
Next morning is ringing with birds that are singing,
On each green, tender bough.
With what content, and merriment,
Their days are spent, whose minds are bent
To follow the useful plow.

3. The gallant that dresses fine,
And drinks his bottles of wine,
Were he to be tried, his feathers of pride,
Which deck and adorn his back,
Are tailors' and mercers', and other men dressers,
For which they do dun them now.
But Ralph and Will no compters fill
For tailor's bill, or garments still,
But follow the useful plow.

4. Their hundreds, without remorse,
Some spend to keep dogs and horse,
Who never would give, as long as they live,
Not two-pence to help the poor;
Their wives are neglected, and harlots respected;
This grieves the nation now;
But 'tis not so with us that go
Where pleasures flow, to reap and mow,
And follow the useful plow.

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