Martin Farquhar Tupper

(July 17, 1810 - November 1889 / London)

A Dozen Ballads About White Slavery. 1. The Field Serf.


Galloping out on a drizzly day
To see the foxhounds meet
And huntsmen take their reckless way
Over the newsown wheat,
I came to an old man, stricken and grey,
In soak'd and tatter'd smock,
Hoeing the turnips out of the clay
For farmer Close's flock.

And I pull'd up straight, to talk with the man,
For it is but a prudent part
To show poor folks whenever we can
Their betters are blest with a heart:
The steward may oppress, and the farmer may grind,
And Squire gets all the scorn,
But the natural bent of a gentleman's mind
Is ever to help the forlorn.

And how the poor fellow's weatherworn cheek
Ran down with gratitude there,
To hear the voice of kindliness speak,
And touch the shilling rare;
And yet - he had given to me much more
Than I to him could have given,
For his story touch'd my heart to its core,
And I heard the praise of Heaven!

For years threescore, or five or six more,-
He didn't know right well,-
How he had toil'd, and muck'd and moil'd,
He couldn't justly tell;-
He only remember'd that, young or old,
He had ever been, so to speak,
In midsummer heat or Christmas cold,
Half starved, aweary, and weak!

As a ragged urchin scaring the birds
With lungs all sore and hoarse,
As a farm-lad tending the pigs and herds,
And feeding on food as coarse,-
As a labourer earning never enough
For bairns, and self, and wife,-
And ever with plenty of bitter and rough,
But none of the honey of life!

No books, no rest, no pleasures, no treats,
But aches, and labour, and care,
No earthly excitements, nor heavenly sweets,
But ignorance bald and bare,
In the same dull fields from cradle to grave
To spend life's dismal span,-
Why,- this is to live as a Cuban slave,
And not as an English Man!

Submitted: Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Form:


Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (A Dozen Ballads About White Slavery. 1. The Field Serf. by Martin Farquhar Tupper )

There is no comment submitted by members..

Famous Poems

  1. Phenomenal Woman
    Maya Angelou
  2. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  3. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  4. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  5. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  6. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  7. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
    Maya Angelou
  8. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  9. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  10. A Dream Within A Dream
    Edgar Allan Poe
Trending Poets
Trending Poems
  1. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  2. Dreams, Langston Hughes
  3. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  4. A Dream Within A Dream, Edgar Allan Poe
  5. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
  6. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  7. Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
  8. Suicide in the Trenches, Siegfried Sassoon
  9. Daffodils, William Wordsworth
  10. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
[Hata Bildir]