The Rhymes of Ironquill

I'VE allus held — till jest of late —
That Poetry and me
Got on best, not to 'sociate —
That is, most poetry;
But t'other day my son-in-law ,
Milt — be'n in town to mill —
Fetched home a present-like, fer Ma, —
The Rhymes of Ironquill.

Milt ust to teach; and, 'course, his views
Ranks over common sense; —
That's biased me, till I refuse
'Most all he rickommends. —
But Ma she read and read along
And cried, like women will,
About that " Washerwoman's Song "
In Rhymes of Ironquill.

And then she made me read the thing,
And found my specs and all:
And I jest leant back there — i jing! —
My cheer ag'inst the wall —
And read and read , and read and read ,
All to myse'f — ontil
I lit the lamp and went to bed
With Rhymes of Ironquill!

I propped myse'f up there, and — durn! —
I never shet an eye
Till daylight! — hogged the whole concern
Tee-total, mighty nigh! —
I'd sigh sometimes, and cry sometimes,
Er laugh jest fit to kill —
Clean captured -like with them-air rhymes
O' that-air Ironquill!

Read that-un 'bout old " Marmaton "
'At hain't be'n ever " sized "
In Song before — and yit's rolled on
Jest same as 'postrophized! —
Putt me in mind o' our old crick
At Freeport — and the mill —
And Hinchman's Ford — till jest home sick —
Them Rhymes of Ironquill!

Read that-un, too, 'bout " Game o' Whist, "
And likenin' Life to fun
Like that — and playin' out yer fist,
However cards is run:
And them " Tobacker-Stemmers' Song "
They sung with sich a will
Down 'mongst the misery and wrong —
In Rhymes of Ironquill.

And old John Brown, who broke the sod
Of freedom's faller field
And sowed his heart there, thankin' God
Pore slaves would git the yield —
Rained his last tears fer them and us
To irrigate and till
A crop of Song as glorious
As Rhymes of Ironquill.

And — sergeant, died there in the War,
'At talked, out of his head . . .
He went " back to the Violet Star, "
I'll bet — jest like he said! —
Yer Wars kin riddle bone and flesh,
And blow out brains, and spill
Life-blood, — but Somepin' lives on, fresh
As Rhymes of Ironquill!
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