Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, LOOKING OVER VERMONT TOWN RESORTS, by DANIEL LEAVENS CADY

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LOOKING OVER VERMONT TOWN RESORTS, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Along before marchmeeting day
Last Line: And them that search the town reports.
Subject(s): Courthouses; Towns; Vermont

ALONG before Marchmeeting day,
For towards a month or so, I'd say,
While yet the ground is solid white
And not a robin's song in sight;
While yet the snow contraptions stand
Upon the Propagation land;
You're apt to notice anywheres,
Around behind the Grange Hall stairs,
In blacksmith shop, or store backroom,
Or any place of public gloom,
A nice old bunch of nice old sports
A-going through the Town Reports.

If you're a boy whose ear is spry,
And don't let on, and slip up sly,
The Overseer's account you'll hear
Discussed like this, or very near:
"Paid, pair of crutches, Pat McKim;
One crutch has always done for him:
Paid, care and nursing, Jacob Greif;
That Hun has got a husky wife:
Paid, Pittsburg stogies, Joe Larue;
'Twould cost us less if Joe would chew:"—
Oh! they could practice 'round the courts,
Them tops that search the Town Reports.

"Paid, funeral sermon, Reverend Gas;
We'll bet 'twas what they call a mass:
Paid, pain-reliever, Huldah Dake;
She's full of morphine, let her ache:
Paid, hearse and horse for William Brown;
How's that? we've got a hearse in town:
Paid, doctor twice, Belindy Snell;
That's tough on us, she can't get well:
Paid, lodging tramps and 'phone at Cramp's;
That's rich, a telephone for tramps:"—
They're surely wise, that bunch of sports
That sets and searches Town Reports.

The Road Commishner next receives
These raps and straps to grace his sleeves:
"Paid, extry shoveling, sixty days;
Some shoveler that, old one-armed Hayes:
Paid, winter road and day's expense;
Oh! yes; he moved two lengths of fence:
Paid, brush and stone for Slipback Hill;
That's so's to keep 'er slipping still:
Paid, Georgia pine for culvert beams;
He'd better bought some chocolate creams:"—
They sure could practice 'round the courts,
Them tops that search the Town Reports.

And so they go, straight up and down,
Through every officer in town;
No certified accountant lives
Whose art such "special service" gives;
They know each itemed line they score
And what it's been for years before;
They know a first selectman's charge
In second lister would be large:
Oh! there be folks for every part,
And wartime doesn't change the heart;
There's them that fight and man the forts,
And them that search the Town Reports.

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