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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!