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Poem by Madison Julius Cawein

Corncob Jones

An Oldham-County Weather Philosopher.
"Who is Corncob Jones?" you say.
Beateningest man and talkingest:
Talk and talk th' enduring day,
Never even stop to rest,
Keep on talking that a-way,
Talk you dead, or do his best.

We were there in that old barn,
Loafing 'round and swapping lies:
There was Wiseheart, talking corn,
Me and Raider boosting ryes,
When old Corncob sprung a yarn
Just to give us a surprise.

"Why," says he, "the twelvth of May
'Bout ten year ago, why I
Rickolects it to the day,
By statistics hit wuz dry,
But hit must have rained, I say,
'Cause well, I remember why.

"Fer that night it 'gin to blow
And to rain, an' rained a week;
When hit stopped hit 'gun to show
Here an' there a clearin' streak,
Then set in to sleet an' snow
Blamededst weather! simply freak!

"An' the fruit wuz killt; the corn,
Gin'ral, an' the gardin truck.
That 's experience, an' no yarn.
You can't put hit down to luck,
But to Natur', whar we larn
Common sense, we do, by Huck!

"Why, as I have said to-fore,"
(Here he aimed a streak of brown
At a hornet on the floor,
Got him too)"you put hit down
To experience, nothin' more,
Whut they call hit there in town.

"Natur' jest rubs in the thing
Jest won't let a man ferget;
Keeps hit up spring arter spring
Why? Jest 'cause, now you' kin bet,
Blamed blackberries bloom, by Jing!
They jest need the cold an' wet.

"Every time the twelvth o' May
Cums around, hit 's bound to rain,
Almost to the very day,
Then hit turns an' snows again.
That 's experience, I say,
Whut we gets here, in the main."

"Talkin' 'bout experience
It don't help so much," I said;
"Not as much as common sense."
Here old Corncob shook his head,
Spat and said, "Well that depen's
On whut common sense is, Ned."

Then old Wiseheart says, says he,
"Common sense is somethin' more.
Common sense comes nat'rally.
Nothin' helps hit, that I 'm shore;
But hit helps the one, you see,
That 't was borned with, rich er poor."

Then says Corncob, "Talkin' now
Of experience. That wuz what
We wuz talkin' 'bout. Somehow
You got stalded missed the spot,
Barbwired both yerself an' plough.
An' ye have n't proved a jot.

"You can' t git along, you know,
'Thout experience. Whar 'd we be,
If we missed hit? Helps me so
I kin reckin, acktually,
When hit 's goin' to rain er snow,
Er turn hot er cold;" says he.

"Jest by thinkin' back, by Jack!
Hit 's not whut the weather is,
But whut hit wuz oncet, long back
In the times whut's gone. Gee whiz!
No man needs an almanack
If he only notices.

"Weather? Why, sirs, summer er fall
We kin lay hit by the heels.
Hit cums easy, natural,
Jest like settin' down ter meals.
Jest take notice, that is all.
Do n't rely on how hit feels.

"That 's experience. Larn to know
Whut is whut, an' then take heed.
So it cums we reap an' sow
Jest accordin' as we 've seed
How 't wuz done long years ago,
An' so profit; that's my creed."

Blamededst man you ever met,
This old Corncob. Had a way
Of convincing you, you bet,
By just facts, as you might say;
Tell you when 'twas dry or wet,
And what 't would be to the day.

Madison Julius Cawein

Madison Julius Cawein's other poems:
  1. A Song for Yule
  2. The Raid
  3. Second Sight
  4. Here Is the Place Where Loveliness Keeps House
  5. Below the Sunset's Range of Rose

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