The ploughman

Work, make the effort:

It is the fund that lacks the least.

A rich ploughman,

Feeling his approaching death,

Sent for his children,

Talked to them without witnesses.

Beware, he said,

Sell the heritage

That our parents have left us:

A treasure is hidden inside.

I don’t know the spot;

But a bit of courage

Will make you find it:

You’ll manage.

Turn over your field

As soon as we’re done with August

Dig, search;

Leave no place where the hand

Doesn’t go over and over.

When the father died,

The sons turn over the field,

Here, there, everywhere:

So that at the end of the year

It produced more.

No money was hidden.

But the father was wise

To show them before his death,

That work is a treasure.


#WRITTEN BY JEAN DE LA FONTAINE 

* I learned this poem in 2006 at the primary school in Bamako, West Africa. Poems were then recited at the Certificate of Primary Studies, declaiming them if possible, in order to obtain a better grade.  

This poem served me throughout my school career and in working life. It is a magnificent poem, educational and awakens consciences from a young age. 

Thank you Jean de la Fontaine. 🙂

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