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Painful plough




[NLS note: a graphic appears here - see image of page]

Come all you jolly ploughmen of courage stout and hold
That labour all the winter through stormy winds and cold,
To clothe your fields with plenty, your barnyards to renew,
To crown them with contentment, that hold the painful plough.

Hold, ploughman, says the gardener, count not your trade with
But walk ye through the gardens, and view the various flowers,
And all the curious bordeus and pleasant walks review.
There's no such piece of pleasure performed by the plough.

Hold friend gardener, says the ploughman, no calling I idspise,
For each man for a living upon his trade relies,
Were it not for the ploughman the rich and poor would rue,
For we are all dependent upon the painful plough.

For Adam was a ploughman when ploughing did begin,
The next that succeeded him was Cain his eldest son,
Some of his generation the calling did pursu ,
That bread may not be wanting for need of the plough.

Sampson was a strong man, and Solomon was wise,
Alexander wished to conquer, it was all that he did prize,
King David he was valiant, and many a thousand slew,
Yet none of these great heroes could live without the plough.

Behold the wealthy merchant who treads o'er stormy seas,
Who brings home foreign treasures for those who live at easc,
And fine silks from the Indies, fruits and spices too,
They are all brought to England by virtue of the plough.

For sure the men who bring them will own to what is true,
They cannot sail the ocean without the painful plough,
For they must have beer and biscuit, rice pudding, flour, and peas,
To feed the jolly sailors that plough the raging sea]

I hope there's none offended at me singing this,
For it was ne'er intended to be ta'en amiss ;
If you'll consider rightly you'll find that I speak true,
All trades that I have mentioned depend upon the plough.

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We heard his hammer all day long,
On the anvil ring, and ring,
But he always came when the sun went down,
To sit on the gate and sing ;
His little hands so hard and brown,
Cross'd idly on his knee,
And straw hat lopping over cheeks
As red as they could be.

The hammer's stroke on the anvil, fill'd
His heart with a happy ring,
And that was why, when the sun went down
He came to the gate to sing.

His blue and faded jacket trimm'd
With signs of work, his feet
All bare and fair upon the grass,
He made a picture sweet.
For still his shoes, with iron shod,
On the smithy wall he hung,
As forth he came, when the sun went down,
And he sat on the gate and sung,
The hammer's stroke on the anvil fill'd, &c.

The whistling rustic tending cows,
Would keep in pastures near,
And half the busy villagers
Lean from their doors to hear.
And from the time the robin came
And made the hedges bright,
Until the stubble yellow grew,
He never miss'd a night.

The hammer's stroke on the anvil, fill'd &c


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