Songs from the Mountains

When Underneath the Brown Dead Grass

Henry Kendall

WHEN underneath the brown dead grass
    My weary bones are laid,
I hope I shall not see the glass
    At ninety in the shade.
I trust indeed that, when I lie
    Beneath the churchyard pine,
I shall not hear that startling cry
    “‘Thermom’ is ninety-nine!”

If one should whisper through my sleep
    “Come up and be alive,”
I’d answer—No, unless you’ll keep
    The glass at sixty-five.

I might be willing if allowed
    To wear old Adam’s rig,
And mix amongst the city crowd
    Like Polynesian “nig”.

Far better in the sod to lie,
    With pasturing pig above,
Than broil beneath a copper sky—
    In sight of all I love!
Far better to be turned to grass
    To feed the poley cow,
Than be the half boiled bream, alas,
    That I am really now!

For cow and pig I would not hear,
    And hoof I would not see;
But if these items did appear
    They wouldn’t trouble me.
For ah! the pelt of mortal man
    Weighs less than half a ton,
And any sight is better than
    A sultry southern sun.

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