The Nobleman and the Thresher
A nobleman met with a thresherman one day
"Come now, good honest fellow, come tell to me I pray
You have a large family, I know it to be true
How d'you manage to maintain them so well as you do?"
"Why, sometimes I do reap and sometimes I do sow
Sometimes to hedging and to ditching I do go
There's nothing comes amiss with me, from the harrow to the plough
That's how I gets my living from the sweat of my brow.
My wife she is willing to join in the yoke
We live like two turtle doves and never do provoke;
Although the times are hard and we are very poor,
Yet we always keep the wolves and the ravens from the door.
When I go home at night as tired as can be
I takes the youngest child and dandles it on my knee
The others gather round with their pretty prattling tows
And that is all the comfort that a poor man enjoys."
"Well done, my honest fellow, you speak well of your wife
Now I will make you happy all the days of your life
Here's fifty acres of good land I'll give it unto thee
For to maintain thy wife and thy sweet family."
"So God bless thee, rich man,that considers a poor man.
I hope that in Heaven you'll get the upper hand;
And those that's left behind we're in hopes for to mend
That we might follow after as quick as we can."
From Wanton Seed, Purslow