Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, CONCERNING HOES, by AMELIA WOODWARD TRUESDELL



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CONCERNING HOES, by            
First Line: You have heard of that over-worked man with the hoe
Last Line: Nor ripens life's harvest with penitent tears.
Subject(s): Fields; Harvest; Labor & Laborers; Pastures; Meadows; Leas; Work; Workers


You have heard of that over-worked man with the hoe,
Whom lords and rulers conspire to rob;
Who's supposed to concentrate all human woe
And stand to the world, for the lot, in one job.

This idealized victim of possible wrong!
Perhaps his griefs are humanity's fad;
A good hoe is a theme for ethical song;
At an every day hoe, the heart should be glad.

From the Labor Prince with his sceptre-spade,
To the man who can claim the LL.D.,
This life has a hoe for every grade,
And it means—hard work as the right to be.

"And now for my hoe," the actor-man said,
As he took up his cue with grimace or frown.
Quoth the author, "This thought that's buzzing my head
Will prove a good hoe to get bread and renown."

"That hoe-man of song found an easy fame,"
Sighed the lawyer pressed with his clients' sins,
"Compared to the man who would gain a name
Where 'tis money rather than merit that wins."

As the miner shouldered his pick and pan
He thought of the hoe-song he heard one day,
And he grumbled, "He hain't got it all, that man,
He never mushed out on a tundra lay."

The emperor said to his friend, the king,
"Old chap, these sceptres used to be ours;
But these hoe-men are getting inside the ring,
We'd better accept them as Allied Powers."

Thus the thought had dawned, and the earth rejoiced,
That the ox and his brother were not alone,
And only that man had a woe to be voiced
Who did not possess a hoe of his own.

So hoe-men we are, both great and small,
If we rule or serve or buy or sell,
And the world demands but this thing of us all,
Whenever we hoe be sure to hoe well.

L'Envoi
Then, comrades, your hoes! to your hoes and to work!
For the fields are broad and brief are the years;
And Nature has made no place for a shirk,
Nor ripens life's harvest with penitent tears.




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