God bless the brawny arms of toil,
The noble hearts and royal hands,
That plow the plain and seed the soil,
And grow the grains of laughing lands!
King in the blessed vales of life
Where perfect pleasures first began,
May blessings come with raptures rife
To crown the humble workingman!
His kingdoms wave with bannered corn
And meadows bright with fairy bloom,
While duties of his heart are born
Where sylvan shadows hide the gloom;
Sweet Nature fills his heart with health,
While rustic warbles lead his soul
Where rill and fountain sing by stealth
And breezes soft with music roll.
He lives where simple wishes throng,
And give contentment to his breast,
While tender lullabies of song
Bring angel gladness to his rest;
No praises linger o’er his name
Where he in silence works apart,
And honor never links with fame
The modest glories of his heart.
He needs no kiss of royal crown
To wield the axe or guide the plow,
Or woo the smiles of heaven down
To cling in clusters on his brow;
But in the sacred shine of love,
With humble deeds he lives his days,
And, drinking from the founts above,
He scatters gladness o’er his ways.
Proud monarch of the tattered vest,
Thy toil is fraught with greater gains
Than his that bleeds where warrior crest
Slays thousands on the battled plains!
Thy duty prompts to build, to grow,
The forest fell, the city plan
And scatter seeds of love below,
Where’er thou art, O, workingman!
GIVING AND FORGIVING.
’Tis not by selfish miser’s
The great rewards of love are given;
’Tis not the cynic’s haughty creed
Which gladly makes this world a heaven;
But tender word and loving deed
Increase the angel joys of living,
And mortals gain life’s grandest meed
By acts of giving and forgiving.
Let warriors bold with armies fight
Their awful battles brave and gory,
To reap the harvest of their might
And fill a gaping world with glory!
The humble heroes, out of sight,
Where hidden tears and woes are striving,
Win victories for truth and right
By deeds of giving and forgiving.
Let mighty kings of loyal lands
Despise the faithful sons of duty,
And with the swords of vandal hands
Destroy the homes of joy and beauty;
The honest lords of low commands
Will find a nobler way of thriving,
In lonely vales where sorrow stands,
By sweets of giving and forgiving.
Let rich men with their heaps of gold
Be servants of the shining splendor,
And crush the bosom, poor and old,
That lives by mercies pure and tender;
But still the soul with saints enrolled
Will keep its charity surviving,
And have its humble glory told
In tales of giving and forgiving.