Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, PARAPHRASE, by BENJAMIN FRANKLIN KING



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PARAPHRASE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: The master of the manor house each morn
Last Line: I only s-s-stack the hay.
Alternate Author Name(s): King, Ben
Subject(s): Speech Disorders; Stuttering; Muteness


THE master of the manor house each morn
Upon his shining steed through arbored gates
Rides forth and out upon the dusty road
To yon small hamlet smiling on the hill.
At eve rides back with swaying form; he meets
The faithful footman, and, his charger placed,
He wends his way into the mansion hall,
While I, down here in meadow lands all day,
I only s-s-stack the hay.

The opulent lord when mellow days are come,
At the high note of the red-combed chanticleer,
With horse and hound and merry crowd now bent
Upon the chase. Swift through fox-scented roads,
Stopping, perchance, at many a wayside inn,
The music of the jingling glass is his,
While I down here in perfumed clover fields,
Hear but the music of the lark and jay.
I only s-s-stack the hay.

Lone is the mansion on the sunlit hill,
Save for the daughter of the chivalric lord,
Who comes now, finger-kissed by high-topped sheaves
(Pausing the while, half startled by the quail)
To where the haycocks dot the sallow fields;
Comes in the roseate flush of maidenhood;
Comes with a truant smile upon her lips,
And romping up to me exclaiming: "Say!"
B-b-but I -- I only s-s-stack the hay.

Then spake she soft as runs a summer brook
Or novel of some scribe of amorous mind:
"How far the huntsmen must be on the road,
Because the sun comes through my window-blind;
Within -- strange creakings 'bout the halls: without --
The scurrying leaves. So lonely am I now
I've wandered here to ask whate'er betide.
Wouldst cease thy work? Pray, must you toil to-day?"
"W-w-well, yes," I s-s-say, "I have t-t-to s-s-stack the hay."

"Ah, sir!" she then replied: "A banquet spread
But yesternight for me with many guests
And suitors gathered 'round the festal board
Sought ardently my hand; and one forth brought
A golden cup in memory of my birth.
Yea, each in quest of all these lands. Kind sir,
How now; wouldst thou not drink from out my cup?
Prithee, come solace me! Live while you live, for aye."
"I c-c-ca-ca-can't," I s-s-say. "I have to s-s-stacl the hay."

The days roll on and now a blase youth
Rides by the manor house. A reaper he
In wisdom's fields. No importuning maid
Bade him alight. She beckons. Quick he opes
The gates, and, hastening to the banquet halls,
He drinks to her, and, pledging endless love,
They fly to distant parish. Now the hills
And vales and lands that roll away are his.
While I, down here in meadow-lands all day,
I only s-s-stack the hay.





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