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John Vance Cheney (Джон Ванс Чини)

Every One to His Own Way

OAK leaves are big as the mouse’s ear,
So, farmer, go plant. But the frost—
Beware! the witch o’ the year,
See that her palm be crossed.
The bee is abroad, and the ant;        
Spider is busy; ho, farmer, go plant.

The winds blow soft from the glazy sea,
So, merchant, rig ship. But the wave—
Beware! salt water can be
A highway, can be a grave.        
Bring silks for milady; a trip
For wines and spices; ho, merchant, rig ship.

I heard round oath at the churchyard door,
So, preacher, go preach. But the Book—
Say yea and nay, and no more;        
Look to the wording, look.
A heaven and a hell within reach,
’T is one or the other; good preacher, go preach.

Farmer, go till; ride, merchant, the sea;
Good preacher, have at the mewed folk:        
From frost and storm be you free,
And spared That Old Serpent’s joke.
I ’ll sit in my doorway, God please,
Quietly looking between the green trees.

John Vance Cheney's other poems:
  1. Coyote
  2. Wherever a Green Blade Looks up
  3. Somewhere
  4. The Parting of Ilmar and Haadin
  5. At a Grave

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