(6 March 1855 - 1 March 1939 / Toronto)

The Old Brindle Cow

OF all old memories that cluster round my heart,
With their root in my boyhood days,
The quaintest is linked to the old brindle cow
With sly and mysterious ways.
She'd linger round the lot near the old potato patch,
A sentinel by night and by day,
Watching for the hour when all eyes were asleep,
To start on her predatory way.

The old brush fence she would scorn in her course,
With turnips and cabbage just beyond,
And corn that was blooming through the halo of the night–
What a banquet so choice and so fond!
But when the stars of morn were paling in the sky
The old brindle cow would take the cue,
And dressing up her line she'd retreat beyond the fence,
For the old cow knew just what to do.

What breed did you say? Why the very best blood
That could flow in a democratic cow;
No herd-book could tell of the glory in her horns
Or whence came her pedigree or how:
She was Jersey in her milk and Durham in her build,
And Ayrshire when she happened in a row,
But when it came to storming the old 'slash' fence
She was simply the old brindle cow.

It seems but a day since I drove her to the gate
To yield up her rich and creamy prize;
For her theft at midnight hour she would yield a double dower,
With peace of conscience lurking in her eyes.

But she's gone–disappeared with the ripened years of time,
Whose memories my heart enthrall e'en now;
And I never hear a bell tinkling through the forest dell
But I think of that old brindle cow.

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