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(Why, I'd give more for one live bobolink
Than a square mile o'larks in printer's ink,) -
This makes 'em think our fust o’ May is May,
Which 't ain't, for all the almanicks can say.

O little city-gals, don't never go it
Blind on the word o' noospaper or poet!
They ’re apt to puff, an' May-day seldom looks
Up in the country ez it doos in books ;
They ’re no more like than hornets'-nests an' hives,
Or printed sarmons be to holy lives.
I, with my trouses perched on cowhide boots,
Tuggin' my foundered feet out by the roots,
Hev seen ye come to Aling on April's hearse
Your muslin nosegays from the milliner's,
Puzzlin' to find dry ground your queen to choose,
An' dance

your

throats sore in morocker shoes : I've seen ye an' felt proud, thet, come wut would, Our Pilgrim stock wuz pethed with hardihood. Pleasure doos make us Yankees kind o' winch, Ez though 't wuz sunthin' paid for by the inch; But yit we du contrive to worry thru, Ef Dooty tells us thet the thing 's to du, An' kerry a hollerday, ef we set out, Ez stiddily ez though 't wuz a redoubt.

I, country-born an' bred, know where to find Some blooms thet make the season suit the mind, An' seem to metch the doubtin' bluebird's notes, Half-vent'rin' liverworts in furry coats, Bloodroots, whose rolled-up leaves ef you oncurl, Each on 'em 's cradle to a baby-pearl,

But these are jes' Spring's pickets ; sure ez sin,
The rebble frosts 'll try to drive 'em in;
For half our May 's so awfully like May n't,
't would rile a Shaker or an evrige saint;
Though I own up I like our back’ard springs
Thet kind o' haggle with their greens an' things,
An' when you 'most give up, ’uthout more words
Toss the fields full o' blossoms, leaves, an' birds :
Thet 's Northun natur', slow an' apt to doubt,
But when it doos git stirred, ther''s no gin-out !

Fust come the blackbirds clatt'rin' in tall trees,
An' settlin' things in windy Congresses,
Queer politicians, though, for I 'll be skinned
Ef all on 'em don't head aginst the wind.
'fore long the trees begin to show belief,
The maple crimsons to a coral-reef,
Then saffern swarms swing off from all the willers
So plump they look like yaller caterpillars,
Then gray hossches’nuts leetle hands unfold
Softer 'n a baby's be at three days old:
Thet 's robin-redbreast's almanick; he knows
Thet arter this ther' 's only blossom-snows;
So, choosin' out a handy crotch an' spouse,
He goes to plast'rin' his adobë house.

Then seems to come a hitch, - things lag behind,
Till some fine mornin' Spring makes up her mind,
An' ez, when snow-swelled rivers cresh their dams
Heaped-up with ice thet dovetails in an' jams,
A leak comes spirtin' thru some pin-hole cleft,
Grows stronger, fercer, tears out right an' left,

Then all the waters bow themselves an' come,
Suddin, in one gret slope o' shedderin' foam,
Jes' so our Spring gits everythin' in tune
An' gives one leap from Aperl into June:
Then all comes crowdin' in; afore you think,
Young oak-leaves mist the side-hill woods with pink;
The catbird in the laylock-bush is loud;
The orchards turn to heaps o' rosy cloud;
Red-cedars blossom tu, though few folks know it,
An' look all dipt in sunshine like a poet;
The lime-trees pile their solid stacks o'shade
An' drows’ly simmer with the bees' sweet trade;
In ellum-shrouds the flashin' hangbird clings
An' for the summer vy'ge his hammock slings;
All down the loose-walled lanes in archin' bowers
The barb'ry droops its strings o' golden flowers,
Whose shrinkin' hearts the school-gals love to try
With pins, — they 'll worry yourn so, boys, bimeby!
But I don't love your cat’logue style, - do you?-
Ez ef to sell off Natur' by vendoo;
One word with blood in 't 's twice ez good ez two:
'nuff sed, June's bridesman, poet o' the year,
Gladness on wings, the bobolink, is here;
Half-hid in tip-top apple-blooms he swings,
Or climbs aginst the breeze with quiverin' wings,
Or, givin' way to ’t in a mock despair,
Runs down, a brook o’ laughter, thru the air.

I ollus feel the sap start in my veins
In Spring, with curus heats an' prickly pains,
Thet drive me, when I git a chance, to walk
Off by myself to hev a privit talk

With a queer critter thet can't seem to 'gree
Along o' me like most folks, — Mister Me.
Ther''s times when I'm unsoshle ez a stone,
An' sort o' suffercate to be alone,
I’m crowded jes' to think thet folks are nigh,
An' can't bear nothin' closer than the sky;
Now the wind 's full ez shifty in the mind
Ez wut it is ou’-doors, ef I ain't blind,
An' sometimes, in the fairest sou'west weather,
My innard vane pints east for weeks together,
My natur' gits all goose-flesh, an' my sins
Come drizzlin' on my conscience sharp ez pins :
Wal, et sech times I jes’ slip out o' sight
An' take it out in a fair stan'-up fight
With the one cuss I can't lay on the shelf,
The crook’dest stick in all the heap, - Myself.

'T wuz so las' Sabbath arter meetin'-time:
Findin' my feelin's would n't noways rhyme
With nobody's, but off the hendle flew
An' took things from an east-wind pint o' view,
I started off to lose me in the hills
Where the pines be, up back o' 'Siah's Mills:
Pines, ef you ’re blue, are the best friends I know,
They mope an’ sigh an' sheer your feelin's so, -
They hesh the ground beneath so, tu, I swan,
You half-forgit you've gut a body on.
Ther''s a small school'us' there where four roads

meet, The door-steps hollered out by little feet, An' side-posts carved with names whose owners I guess

grew

To gret men, some on 'em, an' deacons, tu ;
't ain't used no longer, coz the town hez gut
A high-school, where they teach the Lord knows

wut:
Three-story larnin''s pop'lar now;
We thrivez wal on jes' two stories less,
For it strikes me ther' 's sech a thing ez sinnin'
By overloadin' children's underpinnin':
Wal, here it wuz I larned my A B C,
An' it's a kind o' favorite spot with me.

We're curus critters : Now ain't jes’ the minute
Thet ever fits us easy while we're in it;
Long ez ’t wuz futur', 't would be perfect bliss,
Soon ez it's past, thet time 's wuth ten o' this;
An' yit there ain't a man thet need be told
Thet Now's the only bird lays eggs o' gold.
A knee-high lad, I used to plot an' plan
An' think 't wuz life's cap-sheaf to be a man;
Now, gittin' gray, there's nothin' I enjoy
Like dreamin' back along into a boy:
So the ole school'us' is a place I choose
Afore all others, ef I want to muse;
I set down where I used to set, an' git
My boyhood back, an' better things with it, -
Faith, Hope, an' sunthin', ef it is n't Cherrity,
It 's want o' guile, an' thet 's ez gret a rerrity, -
While Fancy's cushin', free to Prince and Clown,
Makes the hard bench ez soft ez milk-weed-down.

Now, 'fore I knowed, thet Sabbath arternoon
When I sot out to tramp myself in tune,

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