01 August 2013

A Song of Spring - In Two Voices

Being the joint production of the Advocate's sentimental and practical editors.
The days of the summer are rapidly nearing,
The earth warms anew in the sun's fervid light;
The loafers again on the streets are appearing,
And ready, as usual, to drink or to fight.
The gales that so late from the northward were blowing
Are now by soft airs from the tropics replaced;
And women their sealskins in camphor are stowing
While lung-pads encircle each delicate waist.
Coming again in beneficent summer,
Filling with beauty the earth and the skies;
Coming the lightning-rod man and the drummer,
Bumblebees, hornets, mosquitoes and flies.
Now does the maid plant the flowering creeper,
To spread its rich blooms o'er her sleeping-room sash;
Now does the generous boarding-house keeper
Give us a rest from our surfeit of hash.
Up on the roof in the sunlight are basking
Doves that coo lovingly each to its mate;
Down in the beer-shop the young man is asking
William to hang up more drinks on the slate.
Glad is the heart of each far northern dweller
As Flora trips daintly over the grass;
Soon on the deck of the Goodrich propeller
Printers will ride on their annual pass.
Out in the porch the canary is hanging,
And trilling as only canary birds can;
The girl in her chamber her front hair is banging,
And using a lotion for freckles and tan.
Poplar, and maple, and basswood, and beech,
Soon will they open their swelling buds,
And the man of the house will give a screech
As he sits down plump in a pail of suds.
Soon in the fields will the lassies be seeking
Blossoms that come when the frost-king relents;
Soon in their rear will the old ram be sneaking
To hustle them over the neighboring fence.
Soon will the paths in the woodland be winning
Lovers to stroll 'mid their favorite haunts;
Soon will the boy up the fruit tree be shimming,
A brindle dog's teeth in the seat of his pants.
Soon from the clover the bees will be sipping
The banquet of honey that nature has spread;
Soon in kid boots will our damsels be tripping,
And kicking their overshoes under the bed.
Field and garden and valley and wood
Are slowly revealing their hidden riches;
And the shingle is put where it does most good
To the careless boy who soils his breeches.
Hark! In the forest the partridge is drumming;
Hark to the robin's delightful soprano!
Hark, Miss Angeline Scraggs is thrumming
That same old tune on her cracked piano.
Throw open the window! my spirit is yearning
To breathe the rich odor of rosemary shoots;
Shut it again! for the neighbors are burning
Ham-rinds and cabbage-stalks, rubbers and boots.
Rejoice, O my son! for the winter has fled;
No more shall its storms bring discomfort or harm;
No more shall the maid wear her stockings in bed,
Or rush down at morn with her clothes on her arm.
Rejoice! for the beautiful season is here
When the vernal sun shines and the yellow bird twitters;
When the doctors advise us to brace p with beer,
And tone up our systems with Hostetter's bitters.
May 12, 1881. Door County Advocate 20(2): 3.