THE TURF CUTTER
by Moses Teggart, Springfield, Mass. U.S.A. 1901
Don't stand there with your mouth agape!
|My back is not too stiff to stoop
To work - no matter what;
So I'll clane out the cow-house groop
While you are doin' that.
Oh, no! I'm not the laste bit cross, -
But now when labour's throng,
The turf bank I've pared up the moss,
Will crack if left oo long.
Now get your old Glengarry cap, -
The sun's so hot the day,
Most boys would rather peg a tap
Than fork wet fams away.
Put in the fut boards, graip an' all,
The turf-spade, too, I'll wheel;
From your wee showlder should it fall
It might chip off a heel.
Wi' sods filled up its every pit
That deep last winter showed,
This ramper - since they gravelled it,
Is like a country road.
That corn is showin' a fine braird!
These early sprouts'll do!
An' here's the bank that I have pared,
An' shovelled smoothly, too.
|Wheest! There's our friend the mosscreeper,
Untouched by cant or care,
Och, how the lark-like notes of her
Make sweet the throbbin' air.
These katty turf in the tap graft -
So tough, fill me with the hope,
The bottom ones, if not too saft,
Will cut like yellow soap.
Ye might as well cut through a rug,
Or grazin' closely clipped!
My fut, just now, off the spade lug
Wi' heavy pouncin' slipped.
Wheel these ones out - but not too far, -
That heather height'll do!
(Those bells of ling - how sweet they are!
How fresh an' rosy, too!)
You do not like to cover them
Wi' wet turf or wi'dhry?
Go on! An' think how many a gem
Gets hidden from the eye.
Think, too, of the cowld winter nights,
The fine warm fireside,
The shadows and the shinin' lights
No book from you can hide.
|If I could cut down to the clay
Through buried sprig an' bell,
My summer labour would repay
Me in the winter, well.
But for the brown moss water here,
There isn't half a fall!
Indeed, that march this many a year
Is no march dhrain at all.
When in the hole that lump of bog
Fell with a sudden splash,
How fast the sickly yellow frog
For safety made a dash!
Ah! Hese are fine ones! From the spade,
How smooth an' clane they slip!
Take care! The turf-graip wasn't made
Their shinin' sides to rip.
Dear me! How long that skylark sings!
He's surely in good tune!
No dinner-bell his wifie rings,
An' yet it must be noon.
Wheest! Isn't yon your mother's 'hoagh'?
The mugs are on the shelf!
Run on, my boy, an' I'll bring Coagh -
The craythur, home, myself.