The Farmer's Prayer
poems of the "Good Vicar Prichard of Llandovery" would be incomplete.
This excellent man was born at Llandovery, in Carmarthenshire, in the
year 1579, and died there in 1644. After a collegiate course in Oxford
he was inducted to the Vicarage of his native parish, and received
successively afterwards the appointments of Prebendary, and Chancellor of
St. David's. He composed a multitude of religious poems and pious
ols, which were universally popular among his contemporaries and had
great influence upon the Welsh of after-times. They were collected and
published after his death under the title of "Canwyll y Cymry," or "The
Candle of the Welsh," of which about twenty editions have appeared. The
"Welshman's Caudle" has for the last two hundred and fifty years found a
place beside the Holy Bible in the bookshelf of almost every native of
the Principality, and has been consecrated by the nation. It consists of
pious advice and religious exhortation suited to all conditions and
circumstances of life. An English translation of the poems was published
by Messrs. Longman & Co., in 1815.]
O Thou! by whom the universe was made,
Mankind's support, and never failing aid,
Who bid'st the earth her various products bear,
Who waterest the soft'ned soil with rain,
Who givest vegetation to the grain,
Unto a peasant's ardent pray'r give ear!
I now intend, with care, my land to dress,
And in its fertile womb to sow my grain;
Which, if, O God! thou deignest not to bless,
I never shall receive, or see again.
In vain it is to plant, in vain to sow,
In vain to harrow well the levell'd plain,
If thou wilt not command the seed to grow,
And shed thy blessing on the bury'd grain.
For not a single corn will rush to birth
Of all that I've entrusted to the earth,
If thou dost not enjoin the blade to spring
And the young shoot to full perfection bring.
I therefore beg thy blessing on my lands,
O Lord! and on the labour of my hands,
That I thereby, may as a Christian, live,
And my support, and maintenance receive!
Open the windows of the skies, and pour
Thy blessings on them in a genial show'r;
My corn with earth's prolific fatness feed,
And give increase to all my cover'd seed!
Let not the skies, like brass in fusion, glow,
Nor the earth, with heat, as hard as iron grow,
Let not our pastures and our meads of hay,
For our supine neglect of Thee, decay!
But give us in good time and measure meet,
A temp'rate season, and sufficient heat,
Give us the former and the latter rains,
Give peace and plenty to the British swains.
The locust and the cankerworm restrain,
The dew that blights and tarnishes the grain,
The drought, the nipping winds, the lightning's glare,
Which to the growing corn pernicious are.
O, let the year be with thy goodness crown'd,
Let it with all thy choicest gifts abound,
Let bleating flocks each fertile valley fill,
And lowing herds adorn each rising hill.
Give to the sons of men their daily bread,
Give grass to the mute beasts, that crop the mead,
Give wine and oil to those that till the field,
And let thy heritage abundance yield.
Give us a harvest with profusion crown'd,
Let ev'ry field and fold with corn abound,
Let herbs each garden, fruit each orchard fill,
Let rocks their honey, kine their milk distill.
Prosper our handy work thou gracious God,
And further our endeavours with success:
So, on our knees, shall we thy name applaud,
And night and morn our benefactor bless.