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English Poetry. Edmund Clarence Stedman. Country Sleighing. Эдмунд Кларенс Стедман.

Edmund Clarence Stedman (Эдмунд Кларенс Стедман)

Country Sleighing


In January, when down the dairy
     ⁠The cream and clabber freeze,
When snow-drifts cover the fences over,
⁠     We farmers take our ease.
At night we rig the team,
     ⁠And bring the cutter out;
Then fill it, fill it, fill it, fill it,
     ⁠And heap the furs about.

Here friends and cousins dash up by dozens,
     ⁠And sleighs at least a score;
There John and Molly, behind, are jolly,—
⁠     Nell rides with me, before.
All down the village street
     ⁠We range us in a row:
Now jingle, jingle, jingle, jingle,
⁠     And over the crispy snow!

The windows glisten, the old folks listen
⁠     To hear the sleigh-bells pass;
The fields grow whiter, the stars are brighter,
     ⁠The road is smooth as glass.
Our muffled faces burn,
     ⁠The clear north-wind grows cold,
The girls all nestle, nestle, nestle,
     ⁠Each in her lover's hold.

Through bridge and gateway we're shooting straightway,
     ⁠Their tollman was too slow!
He'll listen after our song and laughter
     ⁠As over the hill we go.
The girls cry, "Fie! for shame!"
⁠     Their cheeks and lips are red,
And so, with kisses, kisses, kisses,
⁠     They take the toll instead.

Still follow, follow! across the hollow
     ⁠The tavern fronts the road.
Whoa, now! all steady! the host is ready,—
⁠     He knows the country mode!
The irons are in the fire,
     ⁠The hissing flip is got;
So pour and sip it, sip it, sip it,
⁠     And sip it while 't is hot.

Push back the tables, and from the stables
     ⁠Bring Tom, the fiddler, in;
All take your places, and make your graces,
⁠     And let the dance begin.
The girls are beating time
⁠     To hear the music sound;
Now foot it, foot it, foot it, foot it,
     ⁠And swing your partners round.

Last couple toward the left! all forward!
     ⁠Cotillons through, let's wheel:
First tune the fiddle, then down the middle
     ⁠In old Virginia Reel.
Play Money Musk to close,
⁠     Then take the "long chassé,"
While in to supper, supper, supper,
     ⁠The landlord leads the way.

The bells are ringing, the ostlers bringing
     ⁠The cutters up anew;
The beasts are neighing; too long we're staying,
     ⁠The night is half-way through.
Wrap close the buffalo-robes,
     ⁠We're all aboard once more;
Now jingle, jingle, jingle, jingle,
     ⁠Away from the tavern-door.

So follow, follow, by hill and hollow,
⁠     And swiftly homeward glide.
What midnight splendor! how warm and tender
     ⁠The maiden by your side!
The sleighs drop far apart,
⁠     Her words are soft and low;
Now, if you love her, love her, love her,
     ⁠'T is safe to tell her so.

Edmund Clarence Stedman’s other poems:

  1. Cousin Lucrece
  2. Sumter
  3. Fuit Ilium
  4. Israel Freyer’s Bid for Gold
  5. The Diamond Wedding

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