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Butter Poems

Table of Contents

  1. Churning by Marcella Melville Hall Hines
  2. Churn Slowly by Sarah Keables Hunt

  1. Churning

    by Marcella Melville Hall Hines

    And What Bridget Thought About It.

    As into the churn fast falleth the cream
    Every drop quite alike doth seem,
    And never, amid such a general splutter,
    Can I tell for the life of me which is the butter.
    So I fasten the cover, and lift the dash,
    And smile as I list to the sullen splash
    With each downward sweep of that merciless lash—
    While the cream, all defenseless, leaps madly away
    From the rough, cruel blows that unceasingly play!
    But there's no escape, though it rise to the top
    Or down to the bottom despairingly drop;
    For a ready tormentor is on its track,
    And sooner or later, will bring it back.
    Till, tired of retreating, the mass will abide
    No more of such warfare, all on one side;
    And angrily mutters, in whisperings low,
    "No more of such peltings will I undergo
    Submissively, tamely—the future shall tell
    If blows I must take, I can give them as well;
    Let them strike if they choose, they'll recoil from the fun,
    For the soft, silly buttermilk only will run."
    Enough, quite enough, take the dasher away—
    What was cream in the morning is butter to-day.

    Just so with the world, mused I in my turn,
    As I took the rich butter up out of the churn,
    My soft cream thus changed to so solid a ball
    A strong hand was needed to mould it at all,—
    Just so with the world, small odds can be scanned,
    While the skies are unclouded, the breezes are bland
    Like a huge jar of cream, till there comes an hour
    Of commotion, fierce trial with testing power!
    And then, even then the resemblance holds true,
    For the world has its butter and buttermilk, too,
    As all cream is not butter, so in the world's plan—
    The moral is plain, if but rightly you scann:
    Society's buttermilk ne'er makes a man!

  2. Churn Slowly

    by Sarah Keables Hunt

    A little maid in the morning sun
    Stood merrily singing and churning—
    "Oh, how I wish this butter was done,
    Then off to the fields I'd be turning!"
    So she hurried the dasher up and down,
    Till the farmer called, with a half-made frown,
    "Churn slowly!"

    "Don't play the dasher so fast, my dear,
    It's not so good for the butter,
    And will make your arms ache, too, I fear,
    And put you all in a flutter—
    For this is the rule, wherever you turn,
    Don't be in haste whenever you—
    "Churn slowly!"

    "If you'd see your butter come nice and sweet,
    Don't churn with a nervous jerking,
    But ply the dasher slowly and neat—
    You'll hardly know you're working;
    And when the butter has come, you'll say,
    'Yes, this is surely the very best way'—
    "Churn slowly!"

    Now, little folks, do you think that you
    A lesson can find in butter?
    Don't be in haste, whatever you do,
    Or get yourself in a flutter;
    And while you stand at life's great churn,
    Let the farmer's words to you return,
    "Churn slowly!"

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