It was of an honest labourer as I've heard people say
He goes out in the morning and he works had all the day,
And he's got seven children and most of them are small.
He has nothing but hard labour to maintain them all.
A gentleman one morning walking out to take the air
He met with this poor labouring man and solumnly declared,
I think you are some thresher-man. Said he, Yes, sir, that's true.
How do you get your living as well as you do?
Sometimes I do reap and sometimes I do mow
At other times to hedging and to ditching I do go.
There is nothing comes amiss to me from the harrow to the plough.
That's how I get my living by the sweat of my brow.
When I come home at night just as tired as can be
I take my youngest child and I dance him on my knee.
The other come around me with their prittle-prattling toys
And that's the only comfort a working man enjoys.
My wife and I are willing and we join both in one yoke
We live like to two turtle doves and not one word provoke.
Although the times are very hard and we are very poor
We can scarcely keep the raving wolf away from the door.
Well done, you honest labourer, you speak well of your wife,
I hope you will prove happy all the days of your life.
Here is forty acres of good land which I will give to thee
Which will help to maintain your sweet wife and family.
Copper R, 1971, A Song For Every Season
, William Heinemann Ltd
(Search Roud index at VWML) Take Six
The Thresher and the Squire