A Popular Recitation.
'Tis plain to me," said a farmer's wife,
"Those boys will make their mark in life;
They never were made to handle a hoe,
And at once to college ought to go.
There's Fred-he's little better 'n a fool;
But John and Henry must go to school."
"Well, really, wife," quoth Farmer Brown,
As he sat his mug of cider down,
"Fred does more work in a day for me
Than both his brothers do in three.
Book laming will never plant one's corn,
Nor hoe potatoes, sure's you're born,
Nor mend a rod of broken fence-
For my part, give me common tense."
But his wife was bound the roost to rule,
And John and Henry were sent to school.
While Fred, of course, was left behind.
For his mother said he had no mind 1
Five years at school the students spent.
Then into business each one went;
John learned to play the flute and fiddle,
And parted his hair, of course, in the middle;
While his brother looked rather higher than he.
And hung out a sign, " H. E. Brown, M.D."
Meanwhile, at home their brother Fred
Had taken a notion into his head;
But he quietly trimmed his apple trees,
And weeded his onions, and planted peas;
While, somehow, either by hook or by crook,
He managed to read full many a book;
Until, at last, his father said
He was getting " book larnin'" into his head
"But, for all that," said Farmer Brown,
"He's the smartest boy there is in town."
The war broke out, and Captain Fred
One hundred men to the battle led;
And when the rebel flag came down.
He came marching home as General Brown,
But he went to work on the farm again,
(And plowed the ground and sowed the grain),
re-shingled the barn, and mended the fence.
And the people declared, " He had common sense."
Now, common sense was very rare,
And the State House needed a portion there;
So the ' Family Dunce " moved into town,
And the people called him Governor Brown;
And his brothers, who went to the city school.
Came home to live with " Mother's Fool."