Trade and Spade

Between two friends in days of old
A bitter strife began,
And Father Spade with Brother Trade
Disputed man to man.
" You're vain, undutiful, and proud,"
Said Spade, with flashing eyes.
" You earn your thousands while I starve;
You mock my children's cries.
You ride in state with lordly looks;
You dwell in bower and hall;
You speak of me reproachfully,
And prosper on my fall.
So from this hour, in shine or shower,
We'll learn to live apart.
I ruled the earth ere you were born —
I cast you from my heart."

And Trade lost temper in his pride;
He uttered words of scorn:
" You do not know the ways of men,
Amid your sheep and corn.
You doze away the busy day,
Nor think how minutes run.
Go, put your shoulder to your work,
And do as I have done.
You've all the earth to yield you wealth —
Both corn and pasture land;
I only ask a counting-house,
And room whereon to stand.
And from this hour, in shine or shower,
I'll learn to live alone;
I'll do without you well enough —
The world shall be my own!"

And thus they wrangled night and day,
Unfair, like angry men,
Till things went wrong between them both,
And would not right again.
But growing wiser in distress,
Each grasp'd the other's hand;
" 'Twas wrong," said Spade, " to rail at Trade;
He loves me in the land."
And Trade as freely owned his fault:
" I've been unjust," he said,
" To quarrel with the good old man,
Who grows my daily bread.
Long may we flourish, Trade and Spade,
In city and in plain!
The people starve while we dispute —
We must not part again."

And all the people sang for joy,
To see their good accord,
While Spade assembled all his sons
And piled his plenteous board.

He fed them on the best of fare,
Untax'd the foaming ale,
And prayed in England's happy shore
That Trade might never fail.
And busy Trade sent fleets of ships
To every sea and strand,
And built his mills and factories
O'er all the prosperous land.
And so we'll sing God save the Queen!
And long may Brother Spade,
For sake of both the rich and poor,
Unite with Brother Trade.
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