Just an humble, plain-faced woman,
Middle-aged and somewhat gray;
True an' wholesome-like an' human, -
Kind o' grave an' kind o' gay.
Makes me think o' early autumn,
Grapes a-purplin' on the vine.
Where the first faint frost has caught 'em.
Caught an' kissed 'em into wine.
Deep-voiced boys now call her "mother," -
Baby boys that's grown to be.
By some magic trick er other.
In a year as tall as she:
Girls that yesterday were clingin'
To her skirts, I've seen o' late
With the neighbor boys a-swingin'
At the rose-wreathed garden gate.
While across her brow Time's finger
Writes the plainer tales o' truth.
In her heart there still must linger
All the flowery dreams o' youth.
Fields are sweet with bloomy clover,
Life is crowned with blissful joys;
Love's pure gold she's coinin' over
In her happy girls an' boys.
Seems as though the cup Fate brings us
Is a sort o' bitter-sweet,
Kind o' soothes an' kind o' stings us, --
Mirth an' melancholy meet.
Grief comes hushin' all our laughter,
Fairest skies are clouded o'er.
But the sunshine follows after,
Always brighter than before.
Spring may fade an' Summer vanish.
Autumn yield to Winter's sway.
Yet the years can never banish
Beauty Love has crowned with May.
In the chimney-corner, cozy,
Dreamin' in the firelight's glow,
I shall see her cheeks blush, rosy.
As I saw them long ago.
When The Summer Boarders Come Poet: Nixon Waterman
Yes, June is here an' now, by jing! it won't be long until
Our good, old-fashioned neighborhood 'at seems so kind o' still
An' solemn-like at times, as though the world had shut us in,
I'll sort o' waken from her dream an' stir herself agin.
The medde 's full o' daisies an' the trees is full o' bloom,
An' after dark the fireflies is sparkin' in the gloom;
The birds is busy buildin' nests, the hives is full o' hum;
It's jes about the season when the summer boarders come.
Peculiar lot o' people is the ones 'at come from town,
They're full o' funny notions, but they plank the money down.
It don't much matter what they git ner what they have to pay, -
Jes give 'em lots o' buttermilk an' let 'em have their way.
'Pears's if they yearn fer scenery an' never git enough
O' sunsets an' o' moonlight nights, an' highty- tighty stuff;
But sence they pay me fer it, why, I'm keepin' mighty mum;
You'll find me diplermatic when the summer boarders come.
One year I fhought I'd please 'em, so I spent a good, big pile
A-buyin' tony fixin's an' a-slingin' on the style.
I painted up the house an' barn an' built a picket fence,
"All moderrun conveniences "I planned at big expense.
I got some patent foldin'-beds an' a planner, too.
An' tried to make the place appear like city mansions do,
But when the folks come - jiminy! - they wouldn't stop a day;
Such "comforts " made 'em tired, so they'd up an' go away.
So then I scraped the paint all off the fence an' barn an' house,
An' cast aside my nice store clothes fer overalls an' blouse.
In place o' every door-knob I contrived a wooden latch,
I ripped the shingles off the roof an' made a leaky thatch.
The patent pump I traded fer a windlass an' a rope,
The bath-room is a horse-trough an' a hunk o'home-made soap.
The foldin'-beds an' likewise the planner's cheerful thrum -
Oh, we hide 'em in the attic when the summer boarders come.
An' sence I reconstructed things the house has overflowed
With summer boarders every year - 'pears like the whole world knowed.
'At here's the place to find the joys 'at's near to Nature's heart,
The extry, duplex, simon-pure, without a touch o' art.
Folks like my homely dialect an' ask me fer to spin
Some simple yarn an' by an' by they'll ask fer it agin;
So I've jes got to jolly 'em; but say, it's tough, by gum!
Fer me who's been through Harvard, when the summer boarders come.