IN HAYIN' TIME by May Phillips Tatro

The-Hay-Harvest Image Credit

IN HAYIN' TIME by May Phillips Tatro
(Dedicated to Mr. Ed. S. Whittaker).

Tell you what I like the best of anything on earth,
An' it's about the last of June it has its natural birth;
It comes a kind o' lazy like an' spreads itself around
An' what ain't floatin' in the air just settles on the ground.

The smell it has, I'm tellin' you, ain't no imported scent,
But just a breath from heaven you think God must have lent.
These perfume chaps have somethin' ther' a callin' "New-
mown hay."
But, landy sakes, my hayin' smell discounts it any day.

The condiments that make it up in no way can be beat,
An' if you've never heard it, I'll give you the receipt.
Take twelve long hours brimmin' full and spillin' every-
Of the yellerest kind of sunshine an' the softest wafts of air;
Now mix these up with smells that come a wafted to and fro
From pastur' lots an' woods an' fields an' where pond lilies
An' posies from the garden, an' you'll need an extra mess
Of pine, wild rose, an' such as these proportioned more or
Then add your clover red an' white an' this receipt of mine
Will furnish you what I shall call the smell in hayin' time.

I'd ruther loaf around the field an' hear the mower hum
Than see the biggest show on earth, that's what I would, by
I like to lop among the hay an' sort a doze an' dream.
Then wake again, then drowse some more till life begins to
Like them queer poets tell about, an' then I lay an' think
An' watch the shadders patchin" round an' dodgin' quick-a-
An' wonderin' why I wasn't made so's I could born a rhyme,
I wouldn't write but one a year, jest one—in hayin' time.

I'd tell about the sky-lark with his gladsome soarin' lay,
The crickets song, an' dronin' bees, an' lumberin' loads o' hay;
I'd speak about the spring time when early mornin' light
Trimmed every piled-up haycock with dew-drops blinkin'

Like as though some baby stars forgot to go away
Or night was tired of holdin' 'em, an' dropped 'em into
But I can't do it, farthermore, I ain't agoin' to try—
There ain't no poems in some folks, no more 'n a pig can
But there's one chap that's got the knack o' tellin' what he
An' he can understand the whisperin' of the trees
An' what the brook's a sayin', an' about the "Old Swimmin'
The garter snakes across your path an' the little medder
mole, The rustling corn, the old rail fence, the mournin' dove's soft
The freshness of the spring time an' the colorin' of the fall, The glimmerin' sheen of summer an' old Winter's blusterin'
snow; In fact, there's nothin' nature claims but what he's sure to

An' as you're readin' what he writes you foller him along,
An', durn me, if you don't forget it's just a poet's song,
For you can see them very things, an' almost yell for joy,
For all the years they slip away an' you're a country boy,
A craunchin' young green apples, or a racin' through the
Or over logs a stumblin' into blue-flag bogs ker slush,
Or follerin' 'long the cow-path with your bare feet shufflin'
So's to hear the bull frogs' orchestra an' watch the dust aglow
With lightnin' bugs. But there, I jing. I've hit upon a plan.
I'll ast Jim Whitcomb Riley, for you know he's jest the man
I'm talkin' of, an' see if he won't write some sort o' rhyme
With nothin' in it, not a thing, but hayin' time.