Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, OLD ST. JOE, by BENJAMIN FRANKLIN KING

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OLD ST. JOE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Of all the towns that jest suits me
Last Line: They ain't no flies on old st. Joe.
Alternate Author Name(s): King, Ben
Subject(s): Fish & Fishing; Towns; Anglers

OF all the towns that jest suits me
From Stevensville to Manistee,
There's one old place I can't fergit;
It ain't a great ways off, and yit
From here it's sixty miles or so
In a bee line -- that's Old St. Joe.

I don't p'tend to write, an' ain't
One of them air chaps't paint;
'F I was I'd tell of scenes't lie
Stretched out afore a feller's eye;
Er when the sun was hangin' low
I'd paint it right from Old St. Joe.

I've seen folks gether thare in crowds
Jist fer to watch the golden clouds
Changin' shapes, and sort o' windin'
Into figgers, never mindin'
That old lake spread out below,
Reflectin' 'em at Old St. Joe.

Underneath them cedar trees
'S where I used to take my ease.
Birds a-singin' all along
The hedge, an' each one had a song
An' sung its best to let you know
They jist got back to Old St. Joe.

They ain't no purtier site to me --
That is, 'cordin' to my idee --
Than jist to watch the gulls 'at fly
Round that old pier; an' hear 'em cry
An' circle round. It 'pears they know
Fishin's good at Old St. Joe.

Course the people over there
They don't notice 'em or care --
What they're worryin' 'bout is frost,
'N whether strawberries is lost;
Yet they 'pear to take things slow,
Jist the same as Old St. Joe.

'Ceptin' rheumatiz, their health
Is middlin' good, an' as fer wealth
They got that, an' lots o' land;
'Course the sile is mixed 'ith sand;
But that's what makes the berries grow
Over there at Old St. Joe.

Take it gener'ly, as a rule,
A feller likes where it's cool,
Where he can sleep, an' drink in air
That comes perfumed from orchards where
The peach trees jist begin to blow;
Then where's a place like Old St. Joe?

Such cool breeze blowin' back
Keeps the skeeters makin' tack
'N the flies they mostly stay
Up round Pipestone creek, they say.
Tell you what, one thing I know --
They ain't no flies on Old St. Joe.

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