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My Summer Fallow
(25 April 1854 – 3 November 1926 / Ontario)

My Summer Fallow

For years my summer-fallow lay,

A wealthy waste of grass and hay

A wilder place you scarce could match

The maiden's famous berry patch.

I Ve counted, when the skies were fair,

Twenty and six sun-bonnets there,

And saw them all in terror break

Before a modest garter snake !

I ever felt a joy intense

To help each fair one o'er the fence,

And praise her ankles or her face,

And get her thanks with artless grace.

Many a ground-hog I have dug

From out his habitation snug ;

And when high hung the noiseless moon

I Ve laid in wait to meet the coon.

One spot I noticed as the best :

'T was always greener than the rest :

A deeper, richer, sweeter green

Than elsewhere in the field was seen.

On high the goose grass waved her plumes ;

The sweet white clover spread her blooms ;

The red-top grew so thick and rank

That on its knees it swooned and sank !

That spot had always furnished, free,

The village dames with boneset tea:

There, 'neath the sheltering mandrake's lid,

The fledgling Bob Whites softly hid ;

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