The Cheerful Plowman
By J. Edw. Tuftt
Neglecting minor choring around a fellow’s farm
brings tragedies deploring and does a heap of harm!
It doesn’t do, by Harry, to say, “another day,”
or “later,” “let it tarry,” “I’ll lay this job away.”
I once neglected fixing a neck yoke that was weak,
and soon my team was mixing with fishes in the creek.
I once said, “These old traces on this old harness here
are weakening in places and need some care, I fear,
but I’ll get busy later and rivet on a strap,
right now I mustn’t cater to this decrepid trap.”
But, bingo, I was driving a wagon on a hill,
my team was nobly striving with most determined will,
when suddenly dividing, the traces gave a snap,
and backwards I was sliding and praying for a strap!
My buggy in its gearing, one summer long ago,
took on a case of veering and swaying to and fro,
but I said, “This has lasted for thirty years and more,
its fasteners were blasted from Pennsylvania’s ore,
so one more week, I reckon, won’t make or mar the rig,
although its braces beckon for splices strong and big!”
Well, on the road to Hease’s, the day those words were said,
that buggy went to pieces and I was put to bed!
I learned those lessons early, and sadly if you please,
and retribution, burly, took me across his knees,
so I made solemn pledges to watch the little chores,
the buckles, and the wedges, the stitches and the bores,
the bolts, the pins, the castings, the rivets and the nails,
the braces and the mastings, the splices and the rails;
I took an oath tremendous to stand off no repairs
until a break stupendous brought tragedies and cares.
I fix each little crevice the day the break appears;
no broken tug or clevis has brought me grief for years!
The Pennsylvania Farmer, Nov. 21, 1925
A buggy accident. (Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)