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  • A Vermont Pasture

    A Vermont Pasture

    You have to work your tillage land
    And mow and hoe and plow it,
    But as for pasture, all you do
    Is jest to sheep or cow it;
    And you can walk jest where you please,
    Instead of ‘round the edges,
    And Sunday you can go and set
    Upon the pasture ledges.

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A Vermont Pasture

(Published 1922)

the pasture ledges at Twig Farm, West Cornwall, Vermont; by Michael Claypool
the pasture ledges at Twig Farm, West Cornwall, Vermont; by Michael Claypool

Written By

Daniel L. Cady

Written on

May 26 , 2014

You have to work your tillage land
And mow and hoe and plow it,
But as for pasture, all you do
Is jest to sheep or cow it;
And you can walk jest where you please,
Instead of ‘round the edges,
And Sunday you can go and set
Upon the pasture ledges.

I’ve seen a lot of right good folks
Whose names I ain’t repeating,
Go through the bars on Sunday morn,
Instead of off to meeting;
And when a preacher hits too hard
With his dogmatic sledges,
You might be saved if you should spend
A Sunday on the ledges.

You cross the brook on stepping stones
You’ve hauled from out the mowing;
You own the stones and own the brook,
Although it keeps agoing;
Then past the logged-off piece you climb,
That’s fenced with blackberry hedges,
And then you sight the butnut tree,
And up beyond, the ledges.

At last you’re there—you see your house
And barn, and both your medders,
And ‘way off north the other farm
You rent to Elmer Cheddars;
You feel as fine as temperance tots
Who’ve jest signed six more pledges—
The world, By Gol! is quite a place
From Bagley’s pasture ledges.

Your wife and boy are both along,
And whilst you’ve been a-looking
They’ve fixed it so you’ll all go snacks
On mother’s put-up cooking;
By George! that razberry pie is good,
Them great, big, bleeding wedges,
You don’t feel wicked, none of you,
For being on the ledges.

You stand up straight and give a stretch,
And then go ‘round by mother,
And quote from Waldo or from Walt
Some outdoor truth or other;
You’re jest as full of nature thoughts
As England is of hedges—
Thoreau, he loved the woods of Maine,
But Bagley loves his ledges.

My! such a peaceful fambly day,
It makes you Congos Quakers;
You can’t have no such day as that
On top of tillage acres;
It beats a day on Woodstock Green,
Or ‘mongst the Highgate sedges;
There ain’t no day that’s like a day
Upon your pasture ledges.

About the Author

Daniel L. Cady

Daniel L. Cady

Daniel Leavens Cady, B.A., L.H.D., Litt. D. (b. 10 March 1861, West Windsor, VT; d. 1 April 1934, Burlington, VT) was referred to as the “Poet Laureate of Vermont” and “The Unique Poet.”

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A quarterly magazine devoted to covering local food, sustainable farming, and the many people building the Vermont food system.

Vermont's Local Banquet Magazine illuminates the connections between local food and Vermont communities. Our stories, interviews, and essays reveal how Vermont residents are building their local food systems, how farmers are faring in a time of great opportunity and challenge, and how Vermont’s agricultural landscape is changing as the localvore movement shapes what is grown and raised here.


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