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6

Then Home we drove along the Road

Down by the Village School,
And stopped the Horses there to drink

From out the Village Pool.
Here oft the Boys would Welcome us,

And some would ask to ride
Just to the Farm upon the Hill :

Come, let us have a Ride!' I never could refuse the lads,

They had such winning faces ! That soon the Rogues were perched astride

Old Dobbin's jingling traces ; And there they found a Happiness

Surpassing that of Kings; 'Tis true their Joys lacked Splendour,

But then they had no Stings ! For when their Ride was ended

Contentment reigned supreme;
And every Youngster gratefully

Did help us with the Team,
To stable them and fodder them,
To put away

their

gear ; And then off Home to speed again

Like herd of flying deer.

Now, when the Supper we had had

Old Ben began to say

How many Lessons good as Gold

The Field had taught that Day. Young Jim he turned about and smiled,

As he was wont to do,
And whispered slyly to the Maids,

Old Ben is now on view !
The Girls they gave him knowing looks,

Then all of us did grin ;
Old Ben he sat and smoked the while

: ; He didn't care a pin. * Aye, Lads! but ye are prime To-night,'

I think I hear him say;
And, Mary, lass, it does me good

To see thy heart so gay.

'I well remember, Lads,' said he,

• That Field in Years gone by !-Before 'twas sown by anyone,

Or touched by any scythe. -
'Twas in a rough and rugged state,

Not as you see it now ;-
A wilderness of brake and thorns !-

Untouched by any Plough.-
One day the Master said to me,

“I think we'll try and till That thick-set mass of Tangled Land

Which lies upon the Hill ;

It has lain Idle long enough

I think we'll make it pay !
So set to work with right goodwill !--

Begin, my Lads, To-day !"

Our bills and hooks were soon at work

To cut the Brushwood down ;
We carted scores of loads away,

And sold them in the Town.
Three weeks from then or more it took

To pull the stumps and roots;
My word, it was a trying job,

They were such ugly brutes !
And some we carried Home to burn,

The rest we burnt in piles ;
You should have seen the Bonfires bright !

Some saw them forty miles
Gleam red and silent through the Night

As silent as a Star,
Upon the far-off Horizon,

Like messengers of War.

'Then we Ploughed the Field Together ! —

Me, Master and the Men -
It was the toughest, hardest job

That ever I did ken -
At last we got it into Shape,

Well Ploughed and Harrowed, too;

And you may think that we were Proud

When we had Sown it Through.

The Spring-time wan'd, the Summer went,

Then came the Autumn tide,
And oft I felt my bosom swell

With honest, manly pride,
When in the Sunshine warm and bright

Of hot and sultry Noon,
Or 'neath the silv'ry shadowy light

Beamed by the Harvest Moon,
The splendid Yield of that Golden Field

Stood out before my Sight;
An Army strong, a Peaceful Throng

Of such as never fight.

We Reaped the Field Together

'Tis now nigh thirty year! I was a Young Man then, my Lads !

Though now I'm Old and Sere !Yet never did I in my Time,

A better Harvest see !For every

Acre that we sowed Brought forth abundantly.And every Season that I Plough,

Or reap the standing Corn, One Lesson Good it teaches me:

“ Be not a Brake of Thorn !"

Land must bring Something forth, my Lads

Ripe Corn or useless Weeds !-
So root the Latter from

your

Hearts !-
Sow only Golden Seeds !
Lay your Furrows long and straight !

Be ever kind and true !
Then God, who makes the Corn increase,

Shall round Your Pathway strew
The blessings of Self-Sacrifice !-

The Ripening of Good Deeds !-
These surely are much better far

Than Crops of Noxious Weeds !

Old Ben we knew had Finished then,

So we retired to Sleep,
Yet in our Hearts his Golden Seeds

Had taken Root most deep.
Yea, he Sowed them not in Vain,

Though with some little Trouble ;
But he who Plants the Golden Grain,

Must first Plough Down the Stubble !

We Ploughed yon Field Together!

Full twenty year gone by !-
Old Ben is dead ! young Jim is wed !

And, Stranger, so am I !
Composed at Brawby, April 12-14, 1886. This Poem was suggested
to me by seeing Three Teams of Horses ploughing in a Stubble Field of
Mr. Frank Coates, called Robin Barn.

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