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Agricultural Distress: A Pastoral Report
by [?]

“Well, home I goes, with empty cart,
Whipping the horses pretty smart,
And whistling ev’ry yard o’ way,
To think how well I’d sold the hay–
And just cotch’d Master at his greens
And bacon, or it might be beans,
Which didn’t taste the worse surely,
To hear his hay had gone so high.
But lord! when I laid down the note,
It stuck the victuals in his throat,
And chok’d him till his face all grew
Like pickling-cabbage, red and blue;
With such big goggle eyes, Ods nails!
They seem’d a-coming out like snails!
‘A note,’ says he, half mad with passion,
‘Why, thou dom’d fool! thou’st took a flash ‘un!’
Now, wasn’t that a pretty mess?
That’s Hagricultural Distress.”


“Phoo! phoo! You’re nothing near the thing!
You only argy in a ring;
‘Cause why? You never cares to look,
Like me, in any larned book;
But schollards know the wrong and right
Of every thing in black and white.

“Well, Farming, that’s its common name,
And Agriculture be the same:
So put your Farming first, and next
Distress, and there you have your text.
But here the question comes to press,
What farming be, and what’s distress?
Why, farming is to plough and sow,
Weed, harrow, harvest, reap, and mow,
Thrash, winnow, sell,–and buy and breed
The proper stock to fat and feed.
Distress is want, and pain, and grief,
And sickness,–things as wants relief;
Thirst, hunger, age, and cold severe;
In short, ax any overseer,–
Well, now, the logic for to chop,
Where’s the distress about a crop?”

“There’s no distress in keeping sheep,
I likes to see ’em frisk and leap;
There’s no distress in seeing swine
Grow up to pork and bacon fine;
There’s no distress in growing wheat
And grass for men or beasts to eat;
And making of lean cattle fat,
There’s no distress, of course, in that.
Then what remains?–But one thing more,
And that’s the Farming of the Poor!”


“Yea!–aye!–surely!–for sartin!–yes!–
That’s Hagricultural Distress!”