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Yankee's Elegy

(On a favorite horse of John C. Beem)

Tread gently on this grassy spot
Poor Yankee lodges here;
Let not his mem'ry be forgot
Nor check the kindly tear.

A better horse ne'er trod the ground
So faithful to the end,
In him I uniformly found
A servant and a friend.

When first I hitched him with his mate
A fiery colt was he,
With kindling eye and springy gait
Ambitious, quick and free.

A stranger to all naughty tricks,
Well fitted for the road.
No pluging, rearing, vicious kicks
A buster with a load.

In buggy, wagon, plow, or cart
As true as steel and strong,
He'd stretch and pull and strain and f--
And fetch his load along.

Or under saddle at a pinch
I never knew him balk,
Nor shy, nor start, nor fret, nor flinch
A noble nag to walk.

When in a constipated fit
No need of pills I wot,
Just straddle Yankee, make him "git,"
Until he raised the trot.

Oh! how he would my bowels churn,
Increasing every cut,
A quarter out and then return
Would empty every gut.

Ah! well poor fellow here you lie
From tug and collar freed,
No cursed whip nor savage cry
To urge your failing speed.

But quietly in this narrow stall,
Your weary bones at last
Have found a resting place from all
Your toils and troubles past.

And when at deaths announcing knell
I start for yonder bourne
May I have done my part as well
As you, poor Yankee, "yourn."

Published: 26-Apr-2004