Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, HOUSECLEANING DAY IN VERMONT, by DANIEL LEAVENS CADY

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

HOUSECLEANING DAY IN VERMONT, by                     Poet's Biography
First Line: To clean a house is still some job
Last Line: The day we cleaned the house.
Subject(s): Cleanliness; Household Employees; Vermont; Servants; Domestics; Maids

TO clean a house is still some job,
As any eye can see,
And yet it ain't a hackumstance
To what it used to be
When ma pinned up her gingham dress,
And pa took off his blouse,
And everybody pitched right in
And went to cleaning house.

The dishes, pictures, beds and chairs
Soon found themselves outdoors;
Our yard was jest as full of things
As two compartment stores;
You'd s'pose we fitted pedlars out,
The same as Broadway Rouss—
That's how our dooryard used to look
The day we cleaned the house.

The mantel clock, it ticked away
Beneath the Harvey tree;
The victuals safe was next the road
And bread and cheese was free;
The hitching post held up my brace
Of dust-conserving grouse,
And Henry Clay stood on his head
The day we cleaned the house.

We cracked the fambly looking glass
A little more each year,
But didn't throw it down the bank,
For things them days was dear;
We glued the whatnot shelves back in,
We "finished up" the souse,
And burnt a bunch of wax-works flowers
Each time we cleaned the house.

The clothsline reeked with quilts and mats,
And 'long the portico,
Stood all the winder sash there was
Upstairs and down below;
And every winder that was washed
I had to go and douse
With water that I pumped myself,
The day we cleaned the house.

We scrubbed the chairs and blacked the stove
And took the heater off,
And scoured the ikon grandpa Tripp
Brought back from Peterhof;
We each could see the others work,
There wan't no chance to chouse,
And sometimes two was mad at once
The day we cleaned the house.

The Sunday school collection box,
And paregoric shelf,
Was things that ma attended to
Entirely by herself;
And once she said, or nearly said,
"Jim Tripp, put on your blouse
And go away and doctor sheep,
While I refresh this house."

The time our goods was back inside
'Twas ten o'clock, about;
We couldn't bedcord all the beds
And so I went without;
'Twas fun to lay there on the floor
As quiet as a mouse—
I never had no other fun
The day we cleaned the house.

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