THE CLODHOPPER AND THE BALD-HEADED MAN
Part 5 of 6
Source: The Crittenden Record. (Marion, Ky.) 1904-1907, February 2, 1906, Image 6 - Chronicling America - The Library of Congress.
[A story of love and business told in verse, and written expressly for
THE RECORD by Robert C. Haynes, author of "Dark Days and Bright."]
"What a dear, noble girl; but don't say 'Mr. Green,'
You may just call me Pounder, won't you, Imogene?
For 'twas you that I met--may I love you thro' life?
Mayn't we walk down life's pathway as husband and wife?"
"Oh, my, my! What a pity it is, Pounder Green,
That our views here converge!" said the fair Imogene;
"For I can't be your wife--ah, how could it be so,
When, to tell you the truth, I am soon to wed Joe!"
"You are soon to wed Joe?" answered Green; "Oh, I see,
And of course you will be a dear sister to me!
Well, I'll just say bye-bye! It has altered my plan,
But I'll get it all back on that bald-headed man!"
It was ev'ning once more, and the stars, now aglow,
Seemed to wink at each other--why should it be so?
Why should not e'en the stars thus be mirthful and gay,
Since this was the fair Imogene's wedding day?
The guests had arrived; all was laughter and glee;
And the minister, too--Brother Brownlow McGee--
Had just crowded within, where one scarcely could stand,
When some one announced the "the bridegroom's at hand!"
"Now brethren and sisters and friends, give us room."
The minister said, while as hush'd as the tomb
Were the voices so mirthful a moment before,
As the bridegroom and bride now appeared at the door.
"Now before I proceed, friends," the preacher began,
"I would kindly suggest to the bald-headed man,
That he move further onward and stand there between
The man at the top and the hard-pounding Green."
"In the garden of Eden, man's first dwelling place,
The first wedding occurred--God's best gift to our race;
And his word has gone forth that man can't live alone,
He must have a fair helpmate, one truly his own."
"Now, therefore, I would ask you, does any one know
Why this man--who's none else than the hod-wielding Joe--
Should not wed this young lady, the fair Imogene,
Who's so useful and apt on the writing machine?"
"I do not object," said the hard-pounding Green,
"Altho' I, too, once tho't that I loved Imogene;
But, to tell you the truth, 'twas a concocted plan
Gotten up betwixt me and the bald-headed man!"
"I do not object," said the bald-headed man,
"For, altho' it at first somewhat altered my plan,
Yet in truth I must say that the hard-pounding Green
Gives a very good punch to a writing machine."
"I do not object," said the man at the top,
"Altho' now for two days has our work had to stop;
We can make it all right tho' tomorrow, if Turk
Will then shoulder his hod and go on with his work!"
"Ah, that's good of you, brethren," said Brother McGee;
"There are no better men than these gentlemen three;
The hard-pounding Green and the bald-headed man,
And the man at the top--beat that trio who can!"
"And now, Joseph Turk, you who once hopp'd the clods,
But who now is engaged in the wielding of hods,
Do you take this young lady to be your dear wife?
Will you cherish and love her the rest of your life?"
"Very good; and do you, the fair Imogene Moss--
You who left your machine and your bald-headed boss--
Will you take this young man for your husband thro' life?
Will you stick to him, too, 'mid contentions and strife?"
"Ah, again very good; now let each bow his head--
And you, brethren, too, while these last words are said;
They will be just a few, for I've finished my work;
You are husband and wife--Joe and Imogene Turk!"
"In conclusion, I'll say just a word to you, Turk,
Be faithful and true, and go on with your work!
Your dear wife and the pitfalls of life stand between,
As you stood betwixt her and the writing machine!"
"And in turn, I'll just say to you, Imogene Turk,
Deal gently with Joe and your duty ne'er shirk;
Just cast off all 'besetments' of life, Imogene,
As you did, in good shape too, the hard-pounding Green!"
"I wish you much joy." said the hard-pounding Green;
"May your lives run as smooth as a writing machine;
May you cling to each other up life's rugged hill,
Like the bald-headed boss to a five dollar bill!"
"I wish you much joy," said the bald-headed man;
"May you be of one mind and have only one plan;
May life's path be as bright and as smooth, be it said,
As obstructionless, too, as the top of my head!"
"I wish you much joy," said the man at the top;
"May your joys ever flow and no tears ever drop;
May your lives be cemented with love till you'll stick,
Each one to the other, like mortar and brick!"
(To be Continued.)