Poetry Explorer

Classic and Contemporary Poetry

RIDING HORSE TO CULTIVATE IN VERMONT, by                     Poet's Biography
First Line: The hottest seat in any state
Last Line: This riding horse to cultivate.
Subject(s): Farm Life; Horseback Riding; Vermont; Agriculture; Farmers


THE hottest seat in any state
Is riding horse to cultivate;
Your cotton pants, they warm right through,
And then the heat goes into you;
The backstrap hurts, a-like as not,
And so a-helps the heat keep hot;
The tugs are bound to pinch your toes,
And that don't cool you, Gracious knows!—
It's blood-heat work, plus six or eight,
A-riding horse to cultivate.

You see the scholars all go past
To school, and teacher going last,
And there you are stuck up on top
Of that old horse, a-wet as sop;
You hear the bell and know your mates
Are getting out their books and slates;
Alphonsine Blas and Bertie Bard
You know have gone to ciphering hard;
But you're behind your class and late,
A-riding horse to cultivate.

You wonder why they always till
The steepest side of every hill;
You have to rein Old Charley so
He'll walk a-next the up-hill row;
Each time you turn you get a warn,
At that, to keep him off the corn;
"Look out," says dad, "see what you've done,
You've spoilt two hills and bunged up one"—
It's feverish work in any state,
This riding horse to cultivate.

Each rod you shift your seat a bit
To make Old Charley's ridgepole fit,
And when you strike a stone, ker-whack,
That sets the horse and harrow back,
You go ahead a-jest the same
And lunge against the starboard hame;
You hope it's broke a tooth or two
For then your morning's work is through—
It learns a chap to "calculate,"
A-riding horse to cultivate.

The only fun you have at all
Is resting near the pasture wall,
Some scattering apple trees that's there
A-kinder cool the ambient air;
As dad sets down his eyesight strays
All 'round the gool and soon he says,
"A-while Old Charley rests his knees
Let's clean them worms' nests off them trees"—
Say; 'tisn't strange that fellers hate
This riding horse to cultivate.





Discover our Poem Explanations and Poet Analyses!


Other Poems of Interest...



Home: PoetryExplorer.net