The Plough

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by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

   If you listen you will hear, from east to west,
   Growing sounds of discontent and deep unrest.
   It is just the progress-driven plough of God,
   Tearing up the well-worn custom-bounded sod;
   Shaping out each old tradition-trodden track
   Into furrows, fertile furrows, rich and black.
   Oh, what harvests they will yield
   When they widen to a field.

   They will widen, they will broaden, day by day,
   As the Progress-driven plough keeps on its way.
   It will riddle all the ancient roads that lead
   Into palaces of selfishness and greed;
   It will tear away the almshouse and the slum
   That the little homes and garden plots may come.
   Yes, the gardens green and sweet
   Shall replace the stony street.

   Let the wise man hear the menace that is blent
   In this ever-growing sound of discontent.
   Let him hear the rising clamour of the race
   That the few shall yield the many larger space.
   For the crucial hour is coming when the soil
   Must be given to, or taken back by Toil
   Oh, that mighty plough of God;
   Hear it breaking through the sod!

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