C.N. Douglas, comp. Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical. 1917.


The farmers are the founders of civilization.

Daniel Webster.

The divine chemistry works in the subsoil.


Time spent in the cultivation of the fields passes very pleasantly.


He who owns the soil, owns up to the sky.


  • Here Ceres’ gifts in waving prospect stand,
  • And nodding tempt the joyful reaper’s hand.
  • Pope.

    Command large fields, but cultivate small ones.


    A field becomes exhausted by constant tillage.


    He that sows his grain upon marble will have many a hungry belly before his harvest.


    Earth is here so kind, that just tickle her with a hoe and she laughs with a harvest.

    Douglas Jerrold.

    Methinks I have a great desire to a bottle of hay: good hay, sweet hay, hath no fellow.


    In ancient times, the sacred plough employed the kings, and awful fathers of mankind.


    Praise a large domain, cultivate a small state.


    Smoothly and lightly the golden seed by the furrow is covered.


    Agriculture engenders good sense, and good sense of an excellent kind.


    The life of the husbandman,—a life fed by the bounty of earth and sweetened by the airs of heaven.

    Douglas Jerrold.

  • When weary reapers quit the sultry field,
  • And, crown’d with corn, their thanks to Ceres yield.
  • Pope.

  • And the maize-field grew and ripened,
  • Till it stood in all the splendor
  • Of its garments green and yellow.
  • Longfellow.

    An agricultural life is one eminently calculated for human happiness and human virtue.

    Josiah Quincy.

    The first farmer was the first man, and all historic nobility rests on possession and use of land.


    Let the farmer forevermore be honored in his calling; for they who labor in the earth are the chosen people of God.

    Thomas Jefferson.

    He who would look with contempt upon the farmer’s pursuit is not worthy the name of a man.


    The sun, which ripens the corn and fills the succulent herb with nutriment, also pencils with beauty the violet and the rose.

    J. C. Abbott.

    The frost is God’s plough, which He drives through every inch of ground in the world, opening each clod, and pulverizing the whole.


    If we estimate dignity by immediate usefulness, agriculture is undoubtedly the first and noblest science.

    Dr. Johnson.

  • The cattle are grazing,
  • Their heads never raising:
  • There are forty feeding like one!
  • Wordsworth.

  • Adam, well may we labor, still to dress
  • This garden, still to tend plant, herb, and flower.
  • Milton.

  • Where grows?—where grows it not? If vain our toil,
  • We ought to blame the culture, not the soil.
  • Pope.

    Trade increases the wealth and glory of a country; but its real strength and stamina are to be looked for among the cultivators of the land.

    Lord Chatham.

  • Heap high the farmer’s wintry hoard!
  • Heap high the golden corn!
  • No richer gift has Autumn poured
  • From out her lavish horn!
  • Whittier.

  • But let the good old corn adorn
  • The hills our fathers trod;
  • Still let us, for His golden corn,
  • Send up our thanks to God!
  • Whittier.

    The first three men in the world were a gardener, a ploughman, and a grazier: and if any man object that the second of these was a murderer, I desire he would consider that as soon as he was so, he quitted our profession and turned builder.


    “Agriculture, for an honorable and high-minded man,” says Xenophon, “is the best of all occupations and arts by which men procure the means of living.”


    God Almighty first planted a garden; and indeed it is the purest of human pleasures: it is the greatest refreshment to the spirits of man.


  • Ye rigid ploughmen! bear in mind
  • Your labor is for future hours.
  • Advance! spare not! nor look behind!
  • Plough deep and straight with all your Powers!
  • Richard Hengist Horne.

    Agriculture is the noblest of all alchemy; for it turns earth, and even manure, into gold, conferring upon its cultivator the additional reward of health.


  • Oft did the harvest to their sickle yield:
  • Their furrow oft the stubborn glebe has broke:
  • How jocund did they drive their team a-field!
  • How bow’d the woods beneath their sturdy stroke!
  • Gray.

  • Look up! the wide extended plain
  • Is billowy with its ripened grain,
  • And on the summer winds are rolled
  • Its waves of emerald and gold.
  • Wm. Henry Burleigh.

    In the age of acorns, antecedent to Ceres and the royal ploughman Triptolemus, a single barley-corn had been of more value to mankind than all the diamonds that glowed in the mines of India.

    H. Brooke.

  • Our rural ancestors, with little blest,
  • Patient of labor when the end was rest,
  • Indulg’d the day that hous’d their annual grain,
  • With feasts, and off’rings, and a thankful strain.
  • Pope.

    And he gave it for his opinion, that whoever could make two ears of corn, or two blades of grass, to grow upon a spot of ground where only one grew before, would deserve better of in mankind, and do more essential service to his country, than the whole race of politicians put together.


    It is not known where he that invented the plough was born nor where be died; yet he has effected more for the happiness of the world than the whole race of heroes and of conquerors who have drenched it with tears and manured it with blood, and whose birth, parentage, and education have been handed down to us with a precision precisely proportionate to the mischief they have done.


  • E’en in mid-harvest, while the jocund swain
  • Pluck’d from the brittle stalk the golden grain,
  • Oft have I seen the war of winds contend,
  • And prone on earth th’ infuriate storm descend,
  • Waste far and wide, and by the roots uptorn,
  • The heavy harvest sweep through ether borne,
  • As the light straw and rapid stubble fly
  • In dark’ning whirlwinds round the wintry sky.
  • Virgil.

  • In ancient times, the sacred Plough employ’d
  • The Kings and awful Fathers of mankind:
  • And some, with whom compared your insect-tribes
  • Are but the beings of a summer’s day,
  • Have held the Scale of Empire, ruled the Storm
  • Of mighty War; then, with victorious hand,
  • Disdaining little delicacies, seized
  • The Plough, and, greatly independent, scorned
  • All the vile stores corruption can bestow.
  • Thomson.

    In a moral point of view, the life of the agriculturist is the most pure and holy of any class of men: pure, because it is the most healthful, and vice can hardly find time to contaminate it; and holy, because it brings the Deity perpetually before his view, giving him thereby the most exalted notions of supreme power, and the most fascinating and endearing view of moral benignity.

    Lord John Russell.