Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, EARLY DAYS IN VERMONT, by DANIEL LEAVENS CADY

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EARLY DAYS IN VERMONT, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: I've read the settlers, bless their souls
Last Line: To borrow jest a carpet tack.
Subject(s): Borrowers & Lenders; Farm Life; Vermont; Loans; Agriculture; Farmers

I'VE read the settlers, bless their souls,
Would take an iron pan or pot
And go and borrow living coals,
And fetch 'em home alive and hot;
Jest think of coming through the woods,
With beasts a-following on your path,
And nothing but a can of coals
Between you and a panther's wrath!

But what I started out to say
Is, that in newly settled earth,
You're borrowing something every day
And lending, too, for all you're worth;
It gets to be a habit soon,
Like that unthrifty city streak,
Of hocking whatsoe'er you have
With Uncle Abraham every week.

In them dependent days, I s'pose,
That what he saw and didn't own,
Upset a settler's eyes and nose
And instantly he "forced a loan"
Of footstove, emptyings, hetchel, swifts,
A bearmeat sirloin, sampler, sled,
And e'en the copper coins they laid
Upon the eyelids of the dead.

They borrowed runnet, milk and tub,
And kettle, paddle, lye and corn;
They borrowed mug and apple shrub
And shot and gun and powderhorn;
A parish wedding meant a shower
Of strictly drummed-up benefits,
For to and fro the spoused ones went
A-borrowing griddle, grease and grits.

But, as the man who owns two pigs
Abjures his socialistic views,
So settler Smart and settler Spriggs,
A-getting wealthy, oft refused
To lend their chattels, goods and wares
To settlers Squawman, Dub and Slack,
Till now it takes about a week
To borrow jest a carpet tack.

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