Ye sons of earth, prepare the plough,
      Break up your fallow-ground;

Matt. 13:3

Ye sons of earth, prepare the plough,
      Break up your fallow-ground;
The sower is gone forth to sow,
      And scatter blessings round.

The seed that finds a stony soil
      Shoots forth a hasty blade;
But ill repays the sower's toil,
      Soon withered, scorched, and dead.

The thorny ground is sure to balk
      All hopes of harvest there;
We find a tall and sickly stalk,
      But not the fruitful ear.

The beaten path and highway side
      Receive the trust in vain;
The watchful birds the spoil divide,
      And pick up all the grain.

But where the Lord of grace and power
      Has blessed the happy field,
How plenteous is the golden store
      The deep-wrought furrows yield!

Father of mercies, we have need
      Of thy preparing grace;
Let the same hand that gives the seed
      Provide a fruitful place!

~ William Cowper

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