Graphic from the book for the top of even-numbered pages

On The Farm.

How sweet to lean on Nature's arm,
And jog through life upon the farm;
Merchants and brokers spread a dash
A little while, then go to smash;
But we can keep from day, to day
The even tenor of our way.
(There go those horses! Quick, John, catch 'em.
They'll break their necks! You didn't hitch 'em,)

How sweet and shrill the plow-boy's song,
As merrily he jogs along;
The playful breeze about him whirls,
And tosses wide his yellow curls.
His hands are brown, his cheeks are red
An ever-blooming flower-bed.
Unspoiled by crowds, unvexed by care
(Goodness! do hear the urchin swear!)
How soft the summer showers fall,
On field and garden, cheering all;
How bright in woods the diamond sheen,
Of rain-drops strung on threads of green
Each oak a king with jewel crown.
(The wind has blown the haystack down!
I knew 'twould hail, it got so warm.
That fence is flat. My! what a storm!)

How soft the hazy summer night!
On dewy grass the moon's pale light
Rests dreamily. It falls in town
On smoky roofs and pavements brown.
How tenderly when night is gone,
Breaks o'er the fields the summer dawn!
How sweet and pure the scented morn.
(Get up! Old Molly's in the corn!)
Far from the city's dust and broil,
We women sing at household toil,
Nor scorn to work with hardened hands;
We laugh at fashion's bars and bands,
And on our cheeks wear nature's rose.
(That calf is nibbling at my clothes!
Off she goes at double shuffle,
Chewing down my finest ruffle!)

We workers in our loom of life,
Far from the city's din and strife,
Weave many a soft, poetic rose,
With patient hand through warp of prose;
We love our labor more and more.
(John! here! the pigs are at the door!
They've burst the stye and scaled the wall___
There goes my kettle, soap and all!)

__Ellen P. Allerton.

Sunflowers, A Book of Kansas Poems
Selected by Willard Wattles
pages 140-141
(Chicago: A. C. McClurg. 1916)
August 6, 2002 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas /

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