So, I never memorized poems as a child, but there was one poem that my sis and I spotted on the back of a Country magazine that we read, oh I dunno--maybe 10 times to each other? We hooted and hollered at it's pithy words. You know it's gotta be a good poem if just this morning--more than 10 years later--a line of it was dancing through my head. I'll give you a hint: The line starts with "For needs must scrape...."
Please.... read it outloud as you enjoy your 2nd cup of coffee. Happy Friday.
THE PASSING OF THE OUTHOUSE
By:James Whitcomb Riley
We had our posey garden
That the women loved so well.
I loved it to but better still
I loved the stronger smell
That filled the evening breezes
So full of homely cheer
And told the night o-taken tramp
That human life was near.
On lazy August afternoons:
It made a little bower
Delightful where my grandsire sat
And whiled away an hour.
For there the summer morning
Its very cares entwined.
And berry bushes reddened
In the teeming soil behind.
All day fat spiders spun their webs
To catch the buzzing flies
That flitted to and from the house
Where Ma was baking pies.
And once a swarm of hornets bold
Had built a palace there
And stung my unsuspecting aunt--
I must not tell you where
Then father took a flaming pole
That was a happy day--
He nearly burned the building up
But the hornets left to stay.
And when summer bloom began to fade
And winter to carouse
We banked the little building
With a heap of hemling boughs.
But when the crust was on the snow
And the sullen skies were grey,
In sooth the building was no place
Where one would wish to stay.
We did our duties promptly,
There one purpose swayed the mind.
We tarried not nor lingered long
On what we left behind.
The torture of that icy seat
Would made a Spartan sob,
For needs must scrape the gooseflesh
With a lacerating cob.
That from a frost-encrusted nail
Was suspended by a string--
My father was a frugal man
And wasted not a thing.
When grandfather had to "go out back"
And make his morning call,
We'd bundle up the dear old man
With a muffler and a shawl.
I knew the hole on which he sat
'Twas padded all around,
And once I dared to sit there,
'Twas all too round, I found.
My loins were all too little
And I jack-knifed there to stay;
They had to come and get me out
Or I'd have passed away.
Then father said ambition
Was a thing small boys should shun,
And I must use the children's hole
Till childhood days were done.
But I still marvel at the craft
That cut those holes so true;
The baby hole and the slender hole
That fitted Sister Sue.
That dear old country landmark!
I've tramped around a lot
And in the lap of luxury
My lot has been to sit,
But ere I die I'll eat the fruit
Of trees I robbed of yore,
Then seek the shanty where my name
Is carved upon the door.
I ween the old familiar smell
Will soothe my jaded soul;
I'm now a man, but none the less
I'll try the children's hole.