Hiram Hover, A Ballad Of New England Life

Bayard Taylor 1825 (Kennett Square) – 1878 (Germany)



Where the Moosatockmaguntic
    Pours its waters in the Skuntic,
        Met, along the forest side
        Hiram Hover, Huldah Hyde.

    She, a maiden fair and dapper,
    He, a red-haired, stalwart trapper,
        Hunting beaver, mink, and skunk
        In the woodlands of Squeedunk.

    She, Pentucket's pensive daughter,
    Walked beside the Skuntic water
        Gathering, in her apron wet,
        Snake-root, mint, and bouncing-bet.

    "Why," he murmured, loth to leave her,
    "Gather yarbs for chills and fever,
        When a lovyer bold and true,
        Only waits to gather you?"

    "Go," she answered, "I'm not hasty,
    I prefer a man more tasty;
        Leastways, one to please me well
        Should not have a beasty smell."

    "Haughty Huldah!" Hiram answered,
    "Mind and heart alike are cancered;
        Jest look here! these peltries give
        Cash, wherefrom a pair may live.

    "I, you think, am but a vagrant,
    Trapping beasts by no means fragrant;
        Yet, I'm sure it's worth a thank,
        I've a handsome sum in bank."

    Turned and vanished Hiram Hover,
    And, before the year was over,
        Huldah, with the yarbs she sold,
        Bought a cape, against the cold.

    Black and thick the furry cape was,
    Of a stylish cut the shape was;
        And the girls, in all the town,
        Envied Huldah up and down.

    Then at last, one winter morning,
    Hiram came without a warning.
        "Either," said he, "you are blind,
        Huldah, or you've changed your mind.

    "Me you snub for trapping varmints,
    Yet you take the skins for garments;
        Since you wear the skunk and mink,
        There's no harm in me, I think."

    "Well," said she, "we will not quarrel,
    Hiram; I accept the moral,
        Now the fashion's so I guess
        I can't hardly do no less."

    Thus the trouble all was over
    Of the love of Hiram Hover.
        Thus he made sweet Huldah Hyde
        Huldah Hover as his bride.

    Love employs, with equal favor,
    Things of good and evil savor;
        That which first appeared to part,
        Warmed, at last, the maiden's heart.

    Under one impartial banner,
    Life, the hunter, Love the tanner,
        Draw, from every beast they snare,
        Comfort for a wedded pair!
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Submitted by halel on July 23, 2020

Modified on March 05, 2023

1:52 min read
11

Quick analysis:

Scheme AABB CCAA CCDD CCEE FFGG XBXX HHAA CCII JJKK AALL JXAA MMNN CCBB CCOO CCPP
Closest metre Iambic tetrameter
Characters 2,350
Words 365
Stanzas 15
Stanza Lengths 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4

Bayard Taylor

Bayard Taylor was an American poet, literary critic, translator, travel author, and diplomat. more…

All Bayard Taylor poems | Bayard Taylor Books

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