Sunday, April 27, 2008

What the Farmer Knows

A merchant came to a farmer's field
and asked the farmer what he knew.
"Not much sir," came the reply
"Just how to grow me rice and rye,

Of where to find the sweetest streams
Of where the soil's still fresh and green;
Of when the seasons come and go,
and when the times are ripe to sow.
My seeds and fields are all I need
For my wife and child at home to feed."

"Strange fellow!" laughed the merchant well,
"See what stories I have to tell!

Of heroes travelling to seek their fates
Of the riches behind the palace gates
So what if you know where the water runs,
So what if you work under rain and sun
How does this help me, in my land and time?
Take your rice and give me wine;
I know men far greater than you'll ever be
Who journeyed more lands than all could see,
Who made riches untold, and lived like Kings
their stories are legends which all men sing
Their praise is known throughout the lands
So keep your knowledge to your own hands
A scholar can learn what took you years
From books in class while covering his ears
Of what use is this knowledge, for money or fame?
I've heard far better from the blind and lame."

And so the merchant left, without a word
For to him the farmer lived a life absurd;

But inside the cart, beneath the tomes
lay a barrel of rice
to feed his home.

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