Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, OLD MAXIMS, by ALICE CARY

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OLD MAXIMS, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: I think there are some maxims
Last Line: Who hoes his own row.
Subject(s): Advice; Work

I THINK there are some maxims
Under the sun,
Scarce worth preservation;
But here, boys, is one
So sound and so simple
'T is worth while to know;
And all in the single line,
"Hoe your own row!"

If you want to have riches,
And want to have friends,
Don't trample the means down
And look for the ends;
But always remember
Wherever you go,
The wisdom of practicing,
"Hoe your own row!"

Don't just sit and pray
For increase of your store,
But work; who will help himself,
Heaven helps more.
The weeds while you're sleeping,
Will come up and grow,
But if you would have the
Full ear, you must hoe!

Nor will it do only
To hoe out the weeds,
You must make your ground mellow
And put in the seeds;
And when the young blade
Pushes through, you must know
There is nothing will strengthen
Its growth like the hoe!

There's no use of saying
What will be, will be;
Once try it, my lack-brain,
And see what you'll see!
Why, just small potatoes,
And few in a row;
You'd better take hold then,
And honestly hoe!

A good many workers
I've known in my time --
Some builders of houses,
Some builders of rhyme;
And they that were prospered,
Were prospered, I know,
By the intent and meaning of
"Hoe your own row!"

I've known, too, a good many
Idlers, who said,
"I've right to my living,
The world owes me bread!"
A right! lazy lubber!
A thousand times No!
'T is his, and his only
Who hoes his own row.

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