Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, BLASTING ROCKS IN VERMONT, by DANIEL LEAVENS CADY

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BLASTING ROCKS IN VERMONT, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: When cutting corn is late
Last Line: And squandered forty plunks.
Subject(s): Corn; Farm Life; Labor & Laborers; Vermont; Agriculture; Farmers; Work; Workers

WHEN cutting corn is late
From wet or drought or smut,
There's time for little jobs
Outside the usual rut,
And so you take a cut
Acrost to Melvin Shedd's,
And hire him hard and fast
To come and help you blast
Some medder niggerheads.

Old easy-going Mell
Is glad to have you call;
He's jack of twenty trades
But still his house is small,
And early in the Fall
Before it's time to hunt,
If he can have his meals,
And work the way he feels,
He'll do a friendly stunt.

And so next day he comes
Prepared to "smite the rocks,"
And brings his fuse and drills
And blasting powder box,
With two peculiar locks,
And iron spoon and wedge,
And grooved-out tamping tool,
And leather cushion cool,
And hickory-handled sledge.

You pick the bluest "head,"
And Mell, he holds the drill,
And tells you how to strike
And keep his friendship still;
You whack with mighty will
Until you'd give a dime,
To try his leather seat,
And two, to know what meat
There'll be at dinner time.

When Mr. Spoon won't reach
You guess it's time to load,
And Mell unlocks the box
Wherein the "stuff" is stowed,
And, while he eyes the road,
It trickles through his hand,
And then he lays his fuse,
And tamps a "Northfield News"
Right in with dirt and sand.

As Mell digs up a match
'Tis sure the hour of Fate;
Its flicker sends you both
Behind the pasture gate:
But, Shucks! the blast you wait
Is jest a slimpsy fiz,
The wad blows out entire
And sets the grass afire—
That's all the "blast" there is.

A week you work away,
And when the job is through,
You find you've cracked one rock
And slightly jostled two,
And killed a blooded ewe,
And roused a nest of skunks,
And powder-faced your skin,
And drove a kneecap in,
And squandered forty plunks.

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