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The Happiest Man in Ioway by Rupert Hughes

 

    Jes' down the road a piece, 'ith dust so deep
      It teched the bay mare's fetlocks, an' the sun
    So b'ilin' hot, the peewees dassn't peep,
      Seemed like midsummer 'fore the spring's begun!
    An' me plumb beat an' good-for-nothin'-like
      An' awful lonedsome fer a sight o' you ...
    I come to that big locus' by the pike,
      An' she was all in bloom, an' trembly, too,
    With breezes like drug-store perfumery.
      I stood up in my sturrups, with my head
    So deep in flowers they almost smothered me.
      I kind o' liked to think that I was dead ...
    An' if I hed 'a' died like that to-day,
    I'd 'a' b'en the happiest man in Ioway.

    For what's the use't o' goin' on like this?
      Your pa not 'lowin' me around the place ...
    Well, fust I knowed, I'd give' them blooms a kiss;
      They tasted like Good-Night on your white face.
    I reached my arms out wide, an' hugged 'em—say,
      I dreamp' your little heart was hammerin' me!
    I broke this branch off for a love-bo'quet;
      'F I'd b'en a giant, I'd 'a' plucked the tree!
    The blooms is kind o' dusty from the road,
      But you won't mind. So, as the feller said,
    “When this you see remember me”—I knowed
      Another poem; but I've lost my head
    From seein' you! 'Bout all that I kin say
    Is—“I'm the happiest man in Ioway.”

    Well, comin' 'long the road I seen your ma
     Drive by to town—she didn't speak to me!
    An' in the farthest field I seen your pa
      At his spring-plowin', like I'd ought to be.
    But, knowin' you'd be here all by yourself,
      I hed to come; for now's our livin' chance!
    Take off yer apern, leave things on the shelf—
      Our preacher needs what th' feller calls “romance.”
    'Ain't got no red-wheeled buggy; but the mare
      Will carry double, like we've trained her to.
    Jes' put a locus'-blossom in your hair
      An' let's ride straight to heaven—me an' you!
    I'll build y' a little house, an' folks'll say:
    “There lives the happiest pair in Ioway.”

 
 
 

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