Canada 1867
....Third Book of Reading Lessons, McPhail, 1867


ONE honest John Tomkins, a hedger and ditcher,
Although he was poor, did not want to be richer;
For all such vain wishes in him were prevented,
By a fortunate habit of being contented.

Though cold was the weather, or dear was the food,
John never was found in a murmuring mood;
For this he was constantly heard to declare, --
What he could not prevent, he would cheerfully bear.

"For why should I grumble and murmur ?" he said;
"If I cannot get meat, I can surely get bread;
And though fretting may make my calamities deeper,
It never can cause bread and cheese to be cheaper."

If John was afflicted with sickness or pain,
He wish'd himself better, but did not complain,
Nor lie down and fret in despondence and sorrow,
But said, that he hoped to be better to-morrow.

If any one wrong'd him, or treated him ill,
Why, John was good-natured and sociable still;
For he said, that revenging the injury done
Would be making two rogues, when there need be but one.

And thus honest John, though his station was humble,
Pass'd through this sad world without even a grumble;
And I wish that some folks, who are greater and richer,
Would copy John Tomkins, the hedger and ditcher.


Updated Regularly. Website Updated on June 20, 2013
Environmentally Friendly Website.
All Rights Reserved. Copyrighted