25. My Father was a Farmer: A Ballad by Robert Burns
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 neâ€™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; Thoâ€™ 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: Resolvâ€™d was I at least to try to mend my situation, O.
In many a way, and vain essay, I courted Fortuneâ€™s favour, O; Some cause unseen still stept between, to frustrate each endeavour, O; Sometimes by foes I was oâ€™erpowerâ€™d, sometimes by friends forsaken, O; And when my hope was at the top, I still was worst mistaken, O.
Then sore harassâ€™d and tirâ€™d at last, with Fortuneâ€™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 untried, O; But the present hour was in my powâ€™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 labour 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, throâ€™ life Iâ€™m doomâ€™d to wander, O, Till down my weary bones I lay in everlasting slumber, O: No view nor care, but shun whateâ€™er might breed me pain or sorrow, O; I live to-day as wellâ€™s I may, regardless of to-morrow, O.
But cheerful still, I am as well as a monarch in his palace, O, Thoâ€™ Fortuneâ€™s frown still hunts me down, with all her wonted malice, O: I make indeed my daily bread, but neâ€™er can make it farther, O: But as daily bread is all I need, I do not much regard her, O.
When sometimes by my labour, I earn a little money, O, Some unforeseen misfortune comes genâ€™rally upon me, O; Mischance, mistake, or by neglect, or my goodnaturâ€™d folly, O: But come what will, Iâ€™ve sworn it still, Iâ€™ll neâ€™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.