Nonfiction > E.C. Stedman & E.M. Hutchinson, eds. > A Library of American Literature > 1861–1889
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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps.  A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes.  1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889
 
Farm Fruits
By Charles Henry Lüders (1858–1891)
 
[Born in Philadelphia, Penn., 1858. Died there, 1891. Hallo, My Fancy! By C. H. L. and S. D. S., Jr. 1887.]

A LITTLE ancient man—who wore
A tall hat, many seasons o’er
      Its days of shining,
And made to fit his shrunken head
With padding of bandanna, red,        5
      Within the lining—
 
Came often down the dusty road
Which passed the door of our abode;
      And sometimes tarried
To sell the sweet farm fruit that lay        10
Within a basket lined with hay,
      The which he carried.
 
I shall not soon forget his face,
Perspiring from the sturdy pace
      He ever travelled;        15
Nor that primeval waistcoat, which
Seemed wholly formed of patch and stitch,
      Much frayed and ravelled.
 
In spring-time, when the violets peeped
Through tears in which their eyes were steeped        20
      Each dewy morning,
He heard the wood-thrush tune his throat
Up to one high delirious note,
All rivals scorning.
 
In autumn, when his worn hat-brim        25
Caught the gay leaves that fell on him,
      He brought ripe apples,—
Great golden “Bell-flowers”—rubbed so bright
They seemed to hold the rich noon-light
      In mellow dapples.        30
 
I wonder if he walks to-day
The cross-ties of the iron way
      Through Olney running?
If now, along the “O. & M.,”
On Saturdays he weareth them—        35
      Those clothes so ‘stunning’?
 
Haply; and yet more likely ’tis
That Life—being done with him and his—
      Long since forsook him.
And that, while I a tribute pen,        40
His neighbors scarce remember when
      Death overtook him.
 
 
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