The Mortgage On The Farm
Tis gone at last, and I am glad; it stayed a fearful while,
And when the world was light and gay, I could not even smile;
It stood before me like a giant, outstretched its iron arm;
No matter where I looked, I saw the mortgage on the farm.
I’ll tell you how it happened, for I want the world to know
How glad I am this winter day whilst earth is white with snow;
I’m just as happy as a lark. No cause for rude alarm
Confronts us now, for lifted is the mortgage on the farm.
The children they were growing up and they were smart and trim.
To some big college in the East we’d sent our youngest, Jim;
And every time he wrote us, at the bottom of his screed
He tacked some Latin fol-de-rol which none of us could read.
The girls they ran to music, and to painting, and to rhymes,
They said the house was out of style and far behind the times;
They suddenly diskivered that it didn’t keep’m warm—
Another step of course towards a mortgage on the farm.
We took a cranky notion, Hannah Jane and me one day,
While we were coming home from town, a-talking all the way;
The old house wasn’t big enough for us, although for years
Beneath its humble roof we’d shared each other’s joys and tears.
We built it o’er and when ’twas done, I wish you could have seen it,
It was a most tremendous thing—I really didn’t mean it;
Why, it was big enough to hold the people of the town
And not one half as cosy as the old one we pulled down.
I bought a fine pianner and it shortened still the pile,
But, then, it pleased the children and they banged it all the while;
No matter what they played for me, their music had no charm,
For every tune said plainly: “There’s a mortgage on the farm!”
I worked from morn till eve, and toiled as often toils the slave
To meet that grisly interest; I tried hard to be brave,
And oft when I came home at night with tired brain and arm,
The chickens hung their heads, they felt the mortgage on the farm.—
But we saved a penny now and then, we laid them in a row,
The girls they played the same old tunes, and let the new ones go;
And when from college came our Jim with laurels on his brow,
I led him to the stumpy field and put him to the plow.
He something said in Latin which I didn’t understand,
But it did me good to see his plow turn up the dewy land;
And when the year had ended and empty were the cribs,
We found we’d hit the mortgage, sir, a blow between the ribs.
To-day I harnessed up the team and thundered off to town,
And in the lawyer’s sight I planked the last bright dollar down;
And when I trotted up the lanes a-feeling good and warm,
The old red rooster crowed his best: “No mortgage on the farm!”
I’ll sleep almighty good to-night, the best for many a day,
The skeleton that haunted us has passed fore’er away.
The girls can play the brand-new tunes with no fears to alarm,
And Jim can go to Congress, with no mortgage on the farm!