This week’s excerpt of “As the Story is Told: A History of Morpeth and Community” (1986), was a poem on “A Farmer’s Life.” It is listed as “authour unkown” so I thought I would look around on the internet to see if I could find the source. I found a 1934 newspaper from Manassas, Virginia, that printed the poem – see page 4. Another online source has the authour listed as: By Henry M. Lorang. It seems like this poem has gotten a lot of mileage without due credit, so I wanted to rectify that by sharing a photo of the authour, courtesy of the Henry Lorang’s ancestors at White Springs Ranch and Library, Genesee, Idaho:
A Farmer’s Life
Down on the farm, ’bout half-past four
I slip on my pants and sneak out the door;
Out to the yard I run like the dickens
To milk the cow and feed the chickens.
Clean out the barn, curry Nancy and Jiggs,
Separate the cream, and slop the pigs;
Work two hours, then eat like a Turk —
And by heck! I’m ready for work!
Then I grease the wagon and put on the rack,
Throw a jug of water in an old grain sack,
Hitch up the horses, hustle down the lane,
Must get they hay in—for it looks like rain!
Look over yonder—sure as I’m born,
Cattle on the rampage, cows in the corn!
Start across the medder, run a mile or two,
Heaving like I’m wind-broke, get wet clean through!
Get back to the hosses, then for recompense
Nancy gets a’straddle of the barbed wire fence!
Joints all aching, and muscles in the jerk,
I’m fit as a fiddle for a full day’s work!
Work all summer, till winter is night,
Then figure up the books and heave a sigh!
Worked all year, didn’t make a thing
Got less cash now, than I had last Spring!
Some people say that there ain’t no hell,
But they never farmed so they can’t tell!
When Spring rolls around, I’ll take another chance,
While the fringe grows longer on my old grey pants,
Give my ‘spenders a hitch, my belt another jerk,
And, by heck!, I’m ready for a full year’s work!