Went to the tool-house and hooked a rake,
Hooked a rake as the sun went down
Over the chimneys of Beavertown.
Up the pathway in whispering sheaves
The wind was blowing the autumn leaves.
Caroline Taylor in sore distress
Said, 'Good land, what an elegant mess',
Stalwart John, with a wink in his eye
Fled to Rochester speedily—
Said to himself as he skimmed the pike—
'Now Miss Carrie kin do as she like.'
Caroline Taylor for conscience sake
Went to work with that terrible rake.
Brushed the litter from path and bed
Till hands were aching and face was red.
Over the chimneys of Beavertown
Softly sarcastic the Sun looked down.
Caroline Taylor with holy wrath
Went for the leaves on the garden path.
Gathered them up in neat little mounds—
Over the face of her father's grounds.
John, the hand, and Billy the horse
Had gone on a picnic together of course.
Caroline Taylor as daylight passed
Murmured 'The garden is fixed at last'.
Caroline Taylor for weariness sake
Lay till the midnight wide awake—
Raked from midnight till half past six
Phantom gardens she never could fix.
Rose in the morning heavy eyed,
Looked at the garden paths and cried.
For the wind had blown in the night and spoiled
All the neatness for which she toiled.
Under the apple trees russet and brown
Swiftly and softly the leaves came down.
Over the trim kept paths they whirled
As though there had never been rake in the world.
Caroline Taylor with patient mien
Said 'I must rake that garden clean'.
Raked that day from ten to four,
Raked the next day an hour or more.
Raked the next day-but woe is me
Wrote on the fourth for a famed M.D.!
While over the chimneys of Beaver Town
Sweetly remorseless the leaves came down.
* * * *
Caroline Taylor's work is o'er
And the rake is back of the tool-house door.
She dabbles in medicines, white and black
And lies on her couch with a pain in her back.
The Moral of which is never try
To be more tidy than Earth and Sky.