The Blessings of the Farmer

“Oh that farmers understood their blessings!
Their boundless joys! A land far off from war
Pours forth her fruit abundantly for them.
Although no stately home with handsome portals
Disgorges on its step a wave of callers
Every morning, gaping at his doors
Inlaid with tortoise shell, astonished by
His gold-trimmed clothes and his Corinthian bronzes,
Although his white wool is not stained with dye,
His oil not spoiled with perfumes from the East,
His rest is sound, his life devoid of guile.
His gains are manifold, his holdings broad:
Caves and living lakes, refreshing vales,
The cattle lowing, slumber in the shade.
Familiar with the haunts of animals,
The farmer lives in peace, his children all
Learn how to work, respect frugality,
Venerate their fathers and the gods:
Surely, Justice, as she left the earth,
In parting left her final traces here.”

from Virgil’s Georgics, lines 459-474

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