By Amos Russel Wells

“Old man,” the captain blustered,
In haste to meet the foe,
“My troops are seeking forage;
Come! show us where to go.”
A mile he led them onward,
To where, in beauty spread,
They saw a field of barley,
“The very thing!” they said.
“Not here!” the old man urged them;
“Have patience for a while.”
And sturdily he led them
Another weary mile.
The barley fleld he showed them
They speedily despoiled;
Ah, little need of reapers,
Where such a troop has tolled!
But “Fie on all this pother!”
The angry captain cursed;
“Old man, this second barley
Is poorer than the first.”
“Perhaps,” the good man answered,
“It may not be so fine;
But that field is another’s
And this field, sir, is mine.”