THE LONLEY PLOUGH
When young I lived upon a farm
And memories flow back now
Of seeing fields prepared for seed
As horses drew the plough.
Magnificent those horses were,
So patient, huge and strong.
They left behind their plodding hooves
Fresh furrows straight and long.
Which gave the plough its course?
The ploughman’s hand, the ploughman’s eye,
Supplied that guiding force.
A ploughman is a lonely soul.
His task is his alone.
No friend, how fond, can do his work;
He’s ever on his own.
The lonely plough can guide,
And only you can live your life
Though friends be at your side.
Yours the praise when you succeed –
The glory and the fame,
But failure too is due to you.
You’ve no one else to blame.
A farmer ploughs a furrow straight
And we must do no less
With truthful lips and honest hearts,
Whate’er our strain and stress.
But yet does not enforce
How we make use of all his gifts.
‘Tis we decide their course.
In wind and rain and cold.
Though all around is desolate,
With hope he must be bold.
He must recall the harvests past
And know they’ll come again.
Let us remember past success
When life seems full of pain.
We plough in hope which God fulfils,
But we our part must play
And do the things that must be done
As day succeeds to day.
When our last harvest we have reaped
And feel it’s evening now,
Then as the lengthening shadows fall,
We must lay down our plough.
Then let us pray that other hands
Our plough may put to work.
The training of the young’s a must
That none of us should shirk.
Though we ourselves have gone.
The plough itself must never cease.
The lonely plough goes on.
Copyright © 2000 [Rev. C. Champneys Burnham]. All rights reserved.