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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 61

Review

Review.

The New Zealand Farmer, Bee and Poultry Journal.—I have recently been delighted by the specimen copy of the above monthly periodical, and would like to do myself the pleasure of recommending it to every man, woman, and child in New Zealand. The paper is a credit to the colony in every way, and any person who wishes to give home friends an idea of the advanced position of New Zealand journalism could not do better than send them a few copies of the above. The subjects of Farming, Gardening, Beekeeping, the Timber Trade, and the state of the Markets are all admirably discussed. To these are added some first-class "jocularities," a few good stories for grown people and for children, receipts for the ladies how "pies to make," and "bread to bake," and how "to knit the sock," and "mend the frock," etc. There is no better paper of the kind in England to my knowledge. Most astonishing of all, the subscription is only 10s. per annum. The price of a single copy is is. There are some capital selected and original poems in it, of which the following is a slight variation. The lines written in italics are altered just to please the mortgagees:—

The Farmer's Wife.

The farmer came in from the field one day,
His languid step, and his weary way,
His bended brow and sinewy hand
All showing his work for the good of the land;
But he sows,
And he hoes,
And he mows,
As everybody knows.
All for the good of the Mortgagee.

By the kitchen lire stood his patient wife—
Eight of his home and joy of his life—
With a face all aglow, and busy hand,
Preparing the meal for her husband's band;
For she must boil,
And she must broil,
And she must toil,
For the Mortgagee rack-rents the soil.

page 21

Sun shines bright when the farmer goes out;
Birds sing sweet songs, lambs frisk about—
The brook babbles softly in the glen—
While he works bravely for the good of the men;
But he sows,
And he mows,
And he hoes,
All for the good of the Mortgagee.

How briskly the wife steps about within,
The dishes to wash and the milk to skim;
The fire goes out, and the flies buzz about—
For dear ones at home her heart is kept stout.
There are pies to make,
There is bread to bake,
And steps to take,
All for the sake of the home.

When the day is o'er, and the evening has come,
The creatures are fed and the milking is done,
He takes his rest 'neath the old shade tree,
But 'tis spoilt by the thoughts of the Mortgagee;
Though he sows,
And he hoes,
And he mows;
Yet he "owes."

But the faithful wife from sun to sun,
Takes the burden up that's never done;
There is no rest, there is no pay,
For the mortgage drains the cash away.
For to mend the frock,
And to knit the sock,
And the cradle to rock,
All for the good of the home.

When autumn is here with chilling blast,
The farmer gathers his crops at last;
But the merchants, the lawyers, and mortgagees,
Take all his profits in commission, percentage, and fees.
While it snows,
And it blows,
The interest grows,
Of all his foes—there's none like the mortgagee.

But the willing wife, till life's closing day,
Is the children's and the husband's stay,
From day to day she hath clone her best,
But death alone can give her rest,
For after the test,
Comes the rest
With the blest—
Where the merchant, the lawyer, and mortgagee,
Can neither hope nor wish to be.

(The original is in the New Zealand Farmer, January, 1885.)