A Hoosier Calendar


BLEAK January! Cold as fate,
And ever colder — ever keener —
Our very hair cut while we wait
By winds that clip it ever cleaner:
Cold as a miser's buried gold,
Or nether-deeps of old tradition —
Jeems January! you're a cold


You, February, — seem to be
Old January's understudy,
But play the part too vaudeville-y, —
With wind too moist and snow too muddy —
You overfreeze and overthaw —
Your " Hos'ler Jo " -like recitation
But hints that you're, at best, a raw


And, March, you've got no friends to spare —
Warm friends, I mean — unless coal-dealers,
Or gas-well owners, pipin' where
The piper's paid — above all spielers;
You are a month, too, of complex
Perversities beyond solution —
A sort o' " loveliest of your sex "


But, April, when you kind o' come
A-sa'nterin' down along our roadway,
The bars is down, and we're at home,
And you're as welcome as a showday!
First thing we know, the sunshine falls
Spring-like, and drenches all Creation
With that-'ere ba'm the poets calls
" Inspiration. "


And May! — It's warmin' jest to see
The crick thawed clear ag'in and dancin' —
'Pear-like it's tickled 'most as me
A-prancin' 'crosst it with my pants on!
And then to hear the bluebird whet
His old song up and lance it through you,
Clean through the boy's heart beatin' yet —


June — 'Ll, I jest git doped on June! —
The trees and grass all at their greenest —
The round earth swung 'twixt sun and moon,
Jest at its — so to say — serenest: —
In country, — stars and whipperwills;
In town, — all night the boys invadin'
Leadin' citizens' winder-sills,


Fish still a-bitin' — some ; but 'most
Too hot fer anything but layin'
Jest do-less like, and watchin' clos't
The treetops and the squirrels playin' —
Their tail-tips switched 'bove knot and limb,
But keepin' most in sequestration —
Leavin' a big part to the im-


Now when it's August — I can tell
It by a hundred signs and over; —
They is a mixed ripe-apple-smell
And mashed-down grass and musty clover;
Bees is as lazy 'most as me —
Bee-bird eats 'em — gap's his wings out
So lazy 'at I don't think he
Spits their stings out!


September, you appeal to all,
Both young and old, lordly and lowly;
You stuff the haymow, trough and stall,
Till horse and cow's as roly-poly
As pigs is, slopped on buttermilk
And brand, shipstuff and 'tater-peelin's —
And folks, too, feelin' fine as silk
With all their feelin's!


If I'd be'n asked for my advice,
And thought the thing out, ca'm and sober —
Sizin' the months all once or twice, —
I'd la'nch'd the year out with October . . . .
All Nature then jest veiled and dressed
In weddin' gyarments, ornamented
With ripe-fruit-gems — and kissin' jest


I'm 'feared November's hopes is few
And far between! — Cold as a Monday-
Washday, er a lodge-man who
You' got to pallbear for on Sunday;
Colder and colder every day —
The fixed official time for sighin', —
A sinkin' state you jest can't stay
In, or die in!


December — why, of course we grin
And bear it — shiverin' every minute,
Yet warm from time the month rolls in
Till it skites out with Christmas in it;
And so, for all its coldest truths
And chill, goose-pimpled imperfections,
It wads our lank old socks with Youth's
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