Hattie Howard Poems >>
The Master Of The Grange

The type of enterprise is he,
   Of sense and thrift and toil;
  Who reckons less on pedigree
   Than rich, productive soil;
  And no "blue blood"--if such there be--
   His veins can ever spoil.

  And yet on blood his heart is set;
   He has his sacred cow,
  Some Alderney or Jersey pet,
   The mistress of the mow;
  His favorite pig is (by brevet)
   "Lord Suffolk"--of the slough.

  To points of stock is he alive
   As keenest cattle king;
  A thoroughbred he deigns to drive,
   But not a mongrel thing;
  The very bees within his hive
   Are crossed--without a sting.

  If apple-boughs drop pumpkins and
   Tomatoes grow on trees,
  It is because his grafting hand
   Has so diverted these
  That alien shoots with native stand
   Like twin-born Siamese.

  No neater farm a nabob owns,
   Its care his chief employ,
  To find fertility in bones
   And briers to destroy,
  Where once he lightly skipped the stones
   A whistling, happy boy.

  The ancient plough and awkward flail
   He banished long ago;
  The zigzag fence with ponderous rail
   He dares to overthrow;
  And wields, with sinews strong and hale,
   The latest style of hoe.

  The household, founded as it were
   Upon the Decalogue,
  He classes with the minister,
   The rural pedagogue,
  And as a sort of angel-cur
   Regards his spotted dog.

  His wife reviews the magazines,
   His children lead the school,
  He tries a thousand new machines
   (And keeps his temper cool),
  But bristles at Kentucky jeans,
   And her impressive mule.

  With Science letting down the bars,
   Enlightening ignorance,
  Enigmas deeper than the stars
   He solves as by a glance,
  And raises cinnamon cigars
   From poor tobacco plants!

  By no decree of fashion dressed,
   And busier than Fate,
  The student-farmer keeps abreast
   With mighty men of state,
  And treasures, like his Sunday vest,
   The motto "Educate!"

  Beyond encircling hills of blue,
   Where I may never range,
  This monarch in his realm I view,
   Of title new and strange,
  And make profound obeisance to
   "The Master of the Grange."