The law of the land

Now this is the law of the land son, as old and as true as the hills, And the farmer who keeps it may prosper, but the farmer who breaks it, it kills.

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Unlike the laws of man son, this law it never slacks.
What you take from the soil for your own son, you’ve damn well got to put back.
How we of the old generation, took land on the cheap and made good,
We ploughed, we stocked and we burned son – we took whatever we could.
But erosion came creeping slowly, then hastened on with a rush,
Our rooigras went to glory, and we don’t relish steekgras much.
The good old days are gone son, when those slopes were white with lambs,
The lands lie thin and starved son, and the silt has choked our dams.
Did I say those days are gone, son? For me they are almost gone,
But for you they will come again son, when the task I set you is done.
I have paid for this farm and fenced it, I have robbed it and now I unmask,
You’ve got to put it back son, and yours is the harder task.
Stock all your paddocks wisely, rotate them all you can,
Block all the loose storm waters and spread them out like a fan.
Tramp all you straw to compost and feed it to the soil,
Contour your lands where they need it, there is virtue in sweat and toil.
We don’t really own the land, son, we hold it and pass away.
The land belongs to the nation to the dawn of judgment day.
And the nation holds you worthy, and if you are straight and just,
You will see that to rob the land is betraying a nation’s trust.
Don’t ask of your farm a fortune, true worth ranks higher than gold,
To farm is a way of living; learn it before you grow old.
So this is the law of the land, son, to take you’ve got to put back,
And you’ll find your days were full son, when it’s time to shoulder your pack.