Works in the Herald 1933

A speaker recently pointed out that one of the blessings of the depression is that it keeps men from retiring and rotting. Young framers of 35 to 40 who had retired are now back at the plough in useful life and service.

The blue sky and the brown earth
   And my hand to the plough once more,
I have found again life's only worth,
   And the deadening dream is o'er.
The good nag's rhythmic, muffled plod
   And the cloven furrow's roll;
The brave smell of the new-turned sod --
   I'm a man again! And whole.

Oh, I had dreamed in the olden days,
   As a man dreams, lacking sense,
Of a carefree life of easy days
   And the lure of indolence.
For I counted care an unmixed harm
   And toil an evil thing;
So I left the plough, and I left the farm,
   And fain would be a King --

A King without his kingdom. Soon,
   A lonely road I went
To find in ease an empty boon,
   In leisure, discontent.
A thousand little niggling cares
   Made mock of indolence.
And apprehension set its snares
   Around my hoarded fence. 

Oh, brown earth and blue sky!
   I'm home again, and King
No longer doomed to live and die
   A rusting, rotting thing.
Aching no more to plan and toil
   For visions worlds away.
My dream is here on this kind soil.
   My kingdom is today!

Herald, 19 April 1933, p8

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2006