Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE HUSBANDMAN, by JOHN STERLING (1806-1844)

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THE HUSBANDMAN, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Earth, of man the bounteous mother
Last Line: Slow the plant to ripeness lead.
Subject(s): Nature

EARTH, of man the bounteous mother,
Feeds him still with corn and wine;
He who best would aid a brother,
Shares with him these gifts divine.

Many a power within her bosom
Noiseless, hidden, works beneath;
Hence are seed, and leaf, and blossom,
Golden ear and cluster'd wreath.

These to swell with strength and beauty,
Is the royal task of man;
Man's a king, his throne is duty,
Since his work on earth began.

Bud and harvest, bloom and vintage,
These, like man, are fruits of earth;
Stamp'd in clay, a heavenly mintage,
All from dust receive their birth.

Barn and mill, and wine-vat's treasures,
Earthly goods for earthly lives,
These are nature's ancient pleasures,
These her child from her derives.

What the dream, but vain rebelling,
If from earth we sought to flee?
'T is our stored and ample dwelling
'T is from it the skies we see.
Wind and frost, and hour and season,
Land and water, sun and shade,
Work with these, as bids thy reason,
For they work thy toil to aid.

Sow thy seed and reap in gladness!
Man himself is all a seed;
Hope and hardship, joy and sadness,
Slow the plant to ripeness lead.

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