Will Carleton — American Poet born on October 21, 1845, died on December 18, 1912

William McKendree Carleton was an American poet. Carleton's poems were most often about his rural life... (wikipedia)

Worm or beetle - drought or tempest - on a farmer's land may fall, Each is loaded full o' ruin, but a mortgage beats 'em all.
Over all our happy country - over all our Nation spread, Is a band of noble heroes - is our Army of the Dead.
But I have learned a thing or two; I know as sure as fate, when we lock up our lives for wealth, the gold key comes too late.
To appreciate heaven well, it's good for a person to have some fifteen minutes of hell.
I've watched my duty, straight an' true, an' tried to do it well; Part of the time kept heaven in view, An' part steered clear of hell.