Thursday, May 8, 2008

Poem: Selling the Old Farm, by Joe Cone

Selling the Old Farm

I've struggled here
For forty year
Upon this heap of stones;
I've got right down
An' dug the groun'
Upon my marrer bones.
I've labored late
On this estate,
An' what is there tur show?
Where is the spoil
Fur all this toil,
I'd kinder like tur know?

I've earned my keep,
I've got some sheep,
I've got some pigs an' cows;
I've got some woods,
Some household goods,
I've got a barn an' house.
But Hiram Brown
Went off tur town
When he wuz seventeen,
An' he is rich
An' famous which
He made frum one machine!

An' look at me,
Now sixty-three,
Without a hard-earned cent,
Except these stones
An' achin' bones,
An' years uv discontent.
No, sir, don't say
A farm will pay
I've knocked that theery out;
I'll sell an' go -
Waal, I dunno,
Most anywhere, about.

What's thet yew say?
"Yew'll buy t'day?
Yew like my farm right well?"
Waal - I - Dunno-
Why - yaas - er - no,
I hedn't thought tur sell,
An' Mary she,
She won't agree,
She loves it so, yew know;
An' ef we quit,
The wust uv it
Is, sir, where could we go?

It's lonesome here,
An' purty drear,
But then, it's home, yew see;
An' somehow I
Don't like tew try
Change fur her an' me.
I thank yew fur
Yewr offer, sir,
But - somehow - I can't sell;
This here ol' farm
Hez got a charm
Thet suits me purty well!

--- Joe Cone (Published in the 1910 Old Farmer's Almanac)

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Chris said...

I like this a lot.

Kim said...

This poem reminds me of my dad... and more so a very dear old friend. For years my mother and father owned greenhouses on Southampton Rd in Westfield (next to St. Mary's Cemetery). Due to the fact “farming” didn’t make it easy to pay the bills my parents gave it up after nearly 20 years and we moved to a new house. As for the family friend at the age of 87 he is still farming on a parcel of land in West Springfield…. Well over 60 years of his life have been spent toiling in fields and greenhouses… I am sure one day that is where he will die! Old farmers are a stubborn bunch!