Robert Burns

My Father was a Farmer

written in 1784

My father was a farmer upon the Carrick border O And carefully he bred me in decency and order O He bade me act a manly part, though I had ne'er a farthing O For without an honest manly heart, no man was worth regarding O Then out into the world my course I did determine. O Tho' to be rich was not my wish, yet to be great was charming. O My talents they were not the worst; nor yet my education: O Resolv'd was I at least to try to mend my situation. O In many a way, and vain essay, I courted fortune's favour, O Some cause unseen, still stept between, and frustrate each endeavour; O Some times by foes I was o'erpower'd; sometimes by friends forsaken; O And when my hope was at the top, I still was worst mistaken. O Then sore harass'd, and tir'd at last, with fortune's vain delusion, O, I dropt my schemes, like idle dreams, and came to this conclusion; O The past was bad, and the future hid, its good or ill untryd; O But the present hour was in my pow'r, and so I would enjoy it, O No help, nor hope, nor view had I; nor person to befriend me; O So I must toil, and sweat and moil, and labor to sustain me, O To plough and sow, to reap and mow, my father bred me early, O For one, he said, to labour bred, was a match for fortune fairly, O. Thus all obscure, unknown, and poor, thro' life I'm doom'd to wander, O Till down my weary bones I lay in everlasting slumber; O No view nor care, but shun whate'er might breed me pain or sorrow; O I live today as well's I may, regardless of tomorrow, O But chearful still, I am as well as a Monarch in a palace; O Tho' fortune's frown still hunts me down with all her wonted malice: O I make indeed, my daily bread, but ne'er can make it farther; O But as daily bread is all I heed, I do not much regard her. O When sometimes by my labour I earn a little money, O Some unforeseen misfortune comes generally upon me; O Mischance, mistake, or by neglect, or my good-natur'd folly; O But come what will I've sworn it still, I'll ne'er be melancholy, O All you who follow wealth and power with unremitting ardour, O The more in this you look for bliss, you leave your view the farther; O Had you the wealth Potosi boasts, or nations to adore you, O A cheerful honest-hearted clown I will prefer before you. O

Comment Section just now

Feel free to be first to leave comment.

8/2200 - 0