Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, DIGGING POTATERS IN VERMONT, by DANIEL LEAVENS CADY

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

DIGGING POTATERS IN VERMONT, by                 Poet's Biography
First Line: Of course, you'll pick the dustiest day
Last Line: And dream of saratoga chips.
Subject(s): Farm Life; Fields; Labor & Laborers; Potatoes; Trade; Vermont; Agriculture; Farmers; Pastures; Meadows; Leas; Work; Workers

OF course, you'll pick the dustiest day
There's been since planting time in May,
And, as from out the shed you start,
To haul the old red dumpty cart,
It hooks against the old green pung,
Which falls and snaps the tedder tongue;
And then you stop and hunt around,
For Mr. Tailboard can't be found;
And then you stop and dust the seat,
For Mrs. Hen is not so neat;
And then you start, no more to stop,
Until your cart adjoins your crop.

But jest as digging hours begin
The boys commence to act like sin;
It's hard to make 'em shake the tops
Until the last potater drops;
And some they maul and some they mash,
And every good one gets a gash;
And next they pelt the old stone walls,
Like Thunder, with potater balls;
And picking up they more than hate,
Unless it's getting noon or late,
And jest to show they're awful smart
They toss a snake inside the cart.

By four o'clock the load's abeam
And Johnny goes and gets the team;
You brace your feet and take the reins,
The neckyoke bumps, the evener strains,
The forrard wheels go up in air,
The hind wheels stay exactly "there;"
At last the combination works,
The big load moves with little jerks;
The basketfuls you've set on top
Bejiggle 'round till off they drop;
A punkin that you stop and pick
Along the way looks green and sick.

At last you reach the bulkhead door,
And back and gee and back some more,
But when you start the cart to tip
She tips too much and gives a slip,
And down she comes, ker-smash, and splits
The bulkhead casing all to bits;
The murphies make a Hun retreat
And land beneath the horses' feet:
Behold your cart of old renown,
The tongue in air, the tailboard down!
The boys jump 'round and slap their shins,
The hired man, he kinder grins.

But don't indulge in deep dismay,
The system works the second day;
The boys behave, the yield is good,
The hired man laughs when he should;
Eight loads you get of spudlings fine,
And one of small, and that makes nine;
There's nothing more to do or say
But put the old dumpcart away,
And sigh because you lost the load
You sold that German, Bumbletoad;
And then you seek the piller slips
And dream of Saratoga chips.

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