Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE SUGAR-CANE: HOW TO FERTILIZE SOIL, by JAMES GRAINGER



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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

THE SUGAR-CANE: HOW TO FERTILIZE SOIL, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Of composts shall the muse descend to sing
Last Line: Enough of composts, muse....
Variant Title(s): Call To The Muse;composts
Subject(s): Fertilizer; Mnemonics; Refuse & Refuse Disposal


OF composts shall the Muse descend to sing,
Nor soil her heavenly plumes? The sacred Muse
Naught sordid deems, but what is base; naught fair
Unless true Virtue stamp it with her seal.
Then, planter, wouldst thou double thine estate,
Never, ah never, be ashamed to tread
Thy dung-heaps, where the refuse of thy mills,
With all the ashes, all thy coppers yield,
With weeds, mould, dung and stale, a compost form,
Of force to fertilize the poorest soil.
But, planter, if thy lands lie far remote
And of access are difficult; on these,
Leave the cane's sapless foliage; and with pens
Wattled (like those the Muse hath oft-times seen
When frolic fancy led her youthful steps,
In green Dorchestria's plains), the whole inclose:
There well thy stock with provender supply;
The well-fed stock will soon that food repay....
Whether the fattening compost in each hole
'Tis best to throw, or on the surface spread,
Is undetermined: trials must decide.
Unless kind rains and fostering dews descend,
To melt the compost's fertilizing salts,
A stinted plant, deceitful of thy hopes,
Will from those beds slow spring where hot dung lies:
But, if 'tis scattered generously o'er all,
The cane will better bear the solar blaze;
Less rain demand; and, by repeated crops,
Thy land improved its gratitude will show.
Enough of composts, Muse....





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