Morning On The Farm
Poem By Robert Kirkland Kernighan
Afar the coming- steeds of day
Are shaking out their manes of grey,
And thro' the clouds of sullen dun
The gleaming threads of silver run ;
The distant woods seem creeping near,
The morning star shines, cold and clear ;
The rooster loud his signal sounds,
The house dog from his kennel bounds ;
The steaming pigs forsake the stacks,
With piles of chaff upon their backs ;
The milk cows hear the cheerful call,
And each one rises in her stall ;
For pleasant sleep they moo their thanks,
Then shake themselves, and lick their flanks ;
And all, a tip-toe, silent wait
To hear the hired man at the gate
To hear him move the sliding bar
That leads to where the turnips are.
The handsome gelding pricks an ear
He knows that feeding time is near ;
He knows that morn is almost here.
The blinking pullets stretch and yawn,
And hail the herald of the dawn ;
They hear with joy the bugle calls,
Awake ! along the hen-house walls ;
They watch the timid steps of day
First, the chilly dun and grey ;
Next, a shade of muffled blue,
With tufts of yellow shining thro'.
The waking sparrows fight outside ;
The timid stars their faces hide,
And still along the hen-house walls
The modest morning careful crawls,
And soon the soft and paling blue
Is changing to a saffron hue.
Then thro' the cobwebbed window flows
A perfect flood of pink and rose ;
Then comes a rush of liquid gold,
And morning o'er the earth is rolled
The cock complacent, with a yawn,
Winds up his watch, for this is dawn.
His call is heard in every home
Beneath the Winter's starry dome ;
The baby in its blanket warm
Turns softly on its mother's arm ;
A tremor curves its parted lips,
And stirs its wee pink finger tips
No longer motionless it lies,
But opens up its dewy eyes
And watches, wond'ring, at the walls
Where maiden morning creeps and crawls
First the dark, and then the dun,
Next gusts of cloudy cobalt run ;
Then breaths of blue and tender rose ;
A wave of crimson inward flows.
The shifting picture doth unfold
Its charming polka dots of gold :
The baby claps its hands with glee,
And wakes its mamma up to see !
Maggie heard it up the stair
The rooster's warning waked her there ;
She lifts the curtain almost dawn ;
She draws her hand-knit stockings on ;
She twists her hair of burnished brown,
And knots it on her stately crown ;
She breathes upon her finger tips ;
Then, wrappered, to the kitchen slips.
The cooking stove is roaring soon :
The big tea kettle 'gins to croon :
The table 's laid in ancient plan ;
The rashers hiss upon the pan :
The buckwheat cakes are baking- brown,
And Maggie deftly turns them down.
She breaks the new-laid eggs, and lo !
The bacon archipelago
Is full of snowy isles which fold
Their shining tips of toothsome gold,
And ' Breakfast 's ready ! ' Maggie sings,
As o'er the earth the morning swings.