Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, A VERMONT COUNTRY STORE, by DANIEL LEAVENS CADY



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A VERMONT COUNTRY STORE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Our village store will always be
Last Line: Made thirteen thousand 'round that store.
Subject(s): Clothing & Dress; Country Life; Merchants; Mountain Life - Vermont; Retail Trade; Stores; Shops; Shopkeepers


OUR village store will always be
A mental stomping ground for me;
The spot from which my fancies roam
And where they rest when I get home;
The hamlet's central point and hub,
The only and exclusive club;
The place where handsaws, hats and teas
A-hit it off with chalk and cheese;
The reservoir of law and lore
And calico—the village store.

The meeting place of them that knew
Jest what the world was coming to;
Through all my youthful years I saw
And heard them doctors spound the law;
Old Uncle Doctor Zenas Blake,
And Doc Epaphroditus Dake,
Lycurgus Pike and Nailkeg Small,
And Cap'n Philo Dumbitall:
Their names have reached no foreign shore
But they was famous 'round the store.

You can't abuse them folks to me,
They saw as fur as I could see;
Their cows was named, their teams was matched,
Each Fall they had their buildings patched;
They knew what kind of chimbly fit
The parlor lamp and how 'twas lit;
Their tax receipts, a certain crop,
Was laid away, the last on top;
The clothes was settled for they wore
Although they hung around the store.

Some thought so many men about
A-kept the wimmen traders out,
And once, they say, Amanda Clapp
Told Zenas Blake to close his trap;
But widder Wood was 'tother way,
She'd stay and talk and talk and stay,
'Twas give-and-take and touch-and-go,
Though what that means I don't jest know—
I s'pose it tries a merchant sore
To please 'em all around a store.

One wintry day up drove the stage
And out bestepped Miss Nancy Page,
And 'Curgus Pike, a-setting there,
Got up and pushed along his chair
And said, "A very chilling storm,
Set down and get your tootsies warm."
But, Sakes Alive! the pelt he got
Was what you'd call a Willard swat—
They didn't speak to girls no more
For quite a while around the store.

One night Jack Jubb, and he knew how,
Was leading past his pulling cow,
When Nailkeg Small from where he set
A-hollered so I hear him yet,
"Jest turn her over on her back,
She'll snake a darn sight smoother, Jack:"
Oh! there was wit enough displayed,
And everything was brisk but trade,
And yet the merchant, Azro Mower,
Made thirteen thousand 'round that store.





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