(7 September 1876 - 22 June 1938 / Auburn, South Australia)

Fruit Of Earth

The winds that blow about the world
(Said Old George Jones)
See here all hope to ruin hurled,
See there triumphant flags unfurled,
Over chance-favored zones.
And no man's wisdom, no man's might
Foresees, much les controls
Some little breeze born of the night
That brings perchance a sudden blight
Or balm for tortured souls.

But growin' things and sowin' things
And watchin' of 'em grow
Not hastenin' things or slowin' things
Nor seekin' to be knowin' things
That men may never know.
'Tis so the kind earth pays a man
'Tis so content is made.
Not work, but worry slays a man;
I take what tricks Fate plays a man
An' sticks to Adam's trade.

The fears that creep about the earth
Vague fears and short-lived joys
What in reckonin' are they worth?
Too quickly swayed by grief or mirth
We live like foolish boys.
Year in, year out, earth mothers us
And offers livelihood,
This year ill fortune bothers us
Next year her bounty smothers us:
The sum of all is good.

'Tis futile man proposes things;
But Nature goes her ways
And God alone disposes things,
And Time alone discloses things
That rule our future says.
Earth yields me her fertility
And till she takes my bones,
I'll nought of man's futility.
For peace bides in humility
(Said Old George Jones).

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