Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, A HINT TO THE FARMERS, by HORACE SMITH

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

A HINT TO THE FARMERS, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Farmers, whose income, day by day
Last Line: "the public will find railing!"
Alternate Author Name(s): Smith, Horatio
Subject(s): Death; Farm Life; Kisses; Dead, The; Agriculture; Farmers

FARMERS, whose income, day by day,
Slides on the Sliding Scale away,
Whatever its direction;
When favoured most still most forlorn,
Starved by monopoly of Corn,
And ruined by protection; --

Farmers! who dying, seldom see
One penny left for Charon's fee,
When o'er the Styx ye're ferried,
But in your landlord's pocket trace
(Like Mecca to the Turks) the place
Wherein your profit's buried --

Farmers! who find in Cobden's breath,
And Bright's harangues, a menaced death
For all of yeoman station,
And most appropriately brand
The Corn-law Leaguers as a band
Prone to ass -- ass -- ination: --

When landlords cry, "We must be fed,
Go -- grind your bones to make our bread,
From Earth more harvests ravish;
Study Liebig, ye clodpole elves!
Buy Guano -- Soda -- stint yourselves,
That we may still be lavish:" --

Farmers! ye ought to patronise
Whate'er improvements may arise
To lessen your expenses,
So hear my tale -- there's little in't,
'Tis merely meant to give a hint
For making cheap field fences.

Queen Bess -- I mean Elizabeth,
Favoured, as the historian saith,
The handsome Earl of Leicester,
To whom she made large grants of land,
For which he doubtless kissed her hand,
And duly thanked and blessed her.

These lands were commons, on whose turf,
Many a cottager and serf
Had fed his goose or donkey;
And being dispossessed, the crowd
Began to murmur in a loud,
I need n't add a wrong key.

What cared his lordship! down he came,
With carpenters to fence the same,
And shut out clowns and cattle;
Riding each morn the men to watch,
So that no moment they might snatch
For drink or tittle-tattle.

One day, a peasant by his side
Bowed his gray head and humbly cried,
"I ax your lorship's pardon,
I've got a notion in my nob,
Whereby this here expensive job
Need hardly cost a farden."

"Not cost a farthing, doting clown!"
Exclaimed his lordship with a frown,
Half angry and half comic; --
"Braggart most vain and over free,
Think'st thou that I can learn from thee
A plan more economic?"

"Yes," quoth the rustic -- "yes, my lord,
You need n't buy another board,
Or oaken plank or paling,
Think not my words are brags and boasts,
For if your lordship finds the posts,
The public will find railing!"

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