|I do not care to loaf around
When summer heat and droughts abound;
While others flee, their tasks to shirk,
I'd rather peg away and work.
The winter time is most too cold
The sights of nature to behold;
The dells have lost their boskiness
And cold winds fill me with distress,
And if I do go out to roam
I wish that I had stayed at home.
In spring there always is a flood
To turn the highways into mud
And if I poke along the creek
I get the chills and shake a week.
Beside there is a lot of chores,
Like setting hens and swinging doors
And weaning pigs and hoeing corn
To keep me busy night and morn.
But when the autumn comes along
That lazy feeling hits me strong,
'Tis then I want to steal away
From tasks that erstwhile seemed but play.
All interest I quickly lose
In dog fights, wrecks or other news;
And though I try from day to day
I cannot write a roundelay,
A sonnet or a pastoral,
A canticle or madrigal.
The woods are calling me to come,
The bumblebees are on the bum,
I want to roam the field and mere
And gaze upon the fatted steer
That hasn't anything to do
The whole delightful season through
But stand upon the river brink
And chew his cud and think and think.
I know where is an orchard old
With offerings of red and gold
And where the wild grape climbs a tree
And flings its challenges to me.
I know that when the sun is bright
The bass and bullheads still will bite;
And so I'll take my line and Dole
And seek some deep and placid hole.
Grasshoppers now are on the wing
And lazily they hop and sing
All ready to accommodate
The chap who seeketh after bait.
September weather is serene,
The trees and grass are not so green;
I note already, here and there,
Some color combinations rare.
I hear the piping of the quail
And look with longing down the trail
That leads through glorious autumn days
And ends in Indian summer haze.
Verdigris Valley Verse
(Coffeyville, Kansas: The Journal Press. 1917)