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

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

A VERMONT RASCAL, by                     Poet's Biography
First Line: Most every town has got, I guess ...'
Last Line: He'll have no gravestone when he's gone.
Subject(s): Country Life; Vermont

'MOST every town has got, I guess,
A chronic case of wickedness,
Some scout to whom no sheep belong
Who smells of mutton mighty strong;
Who, minus cow and apple trees,
Enjoys his cider with his cheese;
A gray old rat, with income slim,
Yet outwardly it does for him;
Of course, if he should break his leg
He'd have to sue the town or beg.

He drives a horse that's adder blind
And never has her shod behind;
He teams a little—more or less,
With that old long low-seat express,
The tailboard marks on which are thought
By most to mean a charge of shot;
He's been a-met past midnight twice
On Cobble Hill by Doctor Price;
The night the butcher shop was burnt
He wan't to home, the sheriff learnt.

His wife's the kind that likes to shine,
And would if she was yourn or mine;
She likely comes from "down below"
And likely dressmaked years ago;
Her snow-white hair, black silk and veil
Are all that keeps him out of jail;
The moment that her dress departs
For church, he grabs his pole and starts
To fish up Barret's brook, and then
Down Story's brook a-home again.

The boy that builds a dam and gets
A pair of pretty trout for pets,
Some summer morning wipes his eye
For old Bill Boyd has seen 'em fry;
The day you put away your meat
He's 'round a-looking sharp and sweet;
Your new potates, however new,
He's sure to taste ahead of you;
You've got to watch your butnut trees
The very night there comes a freeze.

No fowl will ever roost in peace
Till Bill's dishonest breath shall cease;
No corncrib door will rest content
Till Bill's suspicious life is spent;
All piggery pens will feel a chill
Till excarnation tackles Bill;
The only comfort folks can draw
From this old life opposed to law
Is, that is may be counted on
He'll have no gravestone when he's gone.

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