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The Farmer

From The Tacoma Times, December 4, 1913. By Berton Braley.

My hands are gnarled and horny,
    My face is seamed with sun,
My path is sometimes thorny,
    My living grimly won
By labor unremitting
    And hard and bitter toil;
Forever I am pitting
    My strength against the soil.

The city’s lights and glamor
    Are not for me to know,
But neither is its clamor,
    Its squalor and its woe,
Not mine its pleasure places,
    But mine the good brown loam,
The air, the open spaces,
    The quiet peace of Home!

And, though by all my labor,
    I win no mighty prize,
I still can face my neighbor
    And look him in the eyes;
I am no speculator
    Within the wheat-pit hurled;
I am the wealth-creator
    Who helps to feed the world.

One with the Empire-makers
    Who bring a better day,
I till my thrifty acres
    And bow to no man’s sway;
My gold might leap up faster
    Were I to crook the knee,
But no man is my master
    And I am strong—and free!

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