With fires of genius burning,
Then the kitchen fire goes out.
“Look here. Sis, we’re two great ninnies”—
Thus my brother yesterday—
“Working hard when golden guineas
Here are fairly flung away.
“Prize for lyric, prize for sonnet,
Prize for humorous verses, too—
Seize a paper, scribble on it—
Suit for me and dress for you
“Come, let’s try it—I say, Mary,
What’s a lyric, anyhow?”—
So I got the dictionary,
And forgot to milk the cow.
—“Sonnets must be made to order;
Fourteen lines, and put just so,
Like in your embroidery border,
Or a picture-frame, you know.
“Where’s the ‘Royal Road to Rhyming’?
Lyrics must lie musical—
Ebbing, flowing, singing, chiming,
With a gentle rise and fall.”
So we scribbled till the dark it
Closed around, and day was gone;
Mother home again from market!
Dinner wasn’t even on!
Father swore a score of sonnets
Several miles of lyric, too—
Guess I’ll earn my frocks and bonnets
Just as other daughters do.
Was it grass-seeds you mentioned? Beg pardon, I’m sure.
Proceed with your story, I pray.
Didn’t mean to be rude; but I misunderstood—
I thought you were speaking of hay.
A ton to the acre, your five-cornered lot—
Is that where you’re stocking to-day:
We chaps from the city are objects of pity.
We envy you, stooking your hay.
Sore arms, tired back, and a splinter or two?
What matter? ’Tis thanksgiving day.
After famine’s long battle you’ve feed for your cattle—
You ought to be singing of hay.
Try thanksgiving oil for the blisters and rash;
Or your Mary will kiss them away.
Or let me try the charm of life on a farm,