Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, VERMONT FALL FEED, by DANIEL LEAVENS CADY

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VERMONT FALL FEED, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: The perfect barnyard has a gate
Last Line: "we never reach the middle mowing."
Subject(s): Barnyards; Farm Life; Harvest; Mowing & Mowers; Prairies; Pumpkins; Vermont; Agriculture; Farmers; Lawn Mowers; Plains

THE perfect barnyard has a gate
That opens on the Middle Mowing;
An old long gate on which in state
The morning rooster does his crowing;
And on the other side you'll find
A set of shiny bars, a-going
A-towards the pasture, 'tother way
Exactly from the Middle Mowing.

For twenty years the old red cow
Has hooked them bars each Spring with vigor;
You pegged 'em then, you peg 'em now,
For she's an everlasting digger:
The other head back up Old Red
By raring 'round, like sin, and lowing,
But not a-one goes near the gate
That opens on the Middle Mowing.

But when the pasture brook gets low—
So low you wish you kept a diary—
And when the barnyard "settles" so
It ain't the least resemblance miry,
When milking's done, you'll see Old Red
A-looking 'round and kinder going
Along a-towards the 'foresaid gate,
That opens on the Middle Mowing.

In 'bout a month your whole dumb herd
Hangs 'round that gate a-night and morning;
They won't go through the bars till spurred
By Rover's wolverinish warning;
And then they won't go off and feed—
You get a falling milkpail showing—
Old Red and all the other "Reds"
Are fighting for the Middle Mowing.

You hustle in your corn and fill
A-both barn floors chuck up, By Golly!
And slip your cider crop to mill,
And give the hops to Mother Hawley,
And pick the punkins, six big loads,
Though some of them are still a-growing—
That milk content has got to jump
If it should take the Middle Mowing.

The first white frost appears at last
And every Fall-feed thing is ready;
The gate swings in, the herd shoots past,
Like Injuns down a Big Horn eddy;
Your wife comes out upon the porch,
And says with half a tear a-flowing,
"We human beasts that tug and toil,
We never reach the Middle Mowing."

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