Another Brownie Book
Author: Cox Palmer
Title: Another Brownie Book
Release Date: 2019-01-02
Type book: Text
Copyright Status: Public domain in the USA.
Date added: 27 March 2019
Count views: 74
THE CENTURY CO.
Copyright, 1890, by THE CENTURY CO.
When snowdrifts blocked the country roads,
And trees were bending with their loads,
The wind grew mild which had been raw,
And winter yielded to a thaw;
That night the Brownies stood to stare
In wonder on the village square.
Said one, "This plot where drifts now roll
Seems like an acre from the Pole.
I have a scheme which nothing lacks:
Now while the snow so closely packs,
And may be molded in the hand,
We'll build a statue tall and grand
Which here shall stand at morning prime,
To be the wonder of the time."
Another cried, "That suits us all.
To work let every member fall.
When once the task we undertake
Be sure no dwarfish man we'll make;
But one that proudly may look down
On half the buildings in the town.
I know the place where builders keep
Their benches while the snow is deep;
The poles, and ladders too, are there,
To use when working high in air.
While some for these with me will fly,
Let some their hands to snow apply,
And not a feature of the man
Shall be neglected in our plan.
"You know the night, some time ago,
We tramped so far through drifted snow
To ornament with quaint design
The windows of a mansion fine;
And how, on lengthy ladders there
And scaffold swinging in the air,
We worked our brushes with a will
From icy cap to window-sill,
And made the people, great and small,
Believe Jack Frost had done it all?—
To-night we'll work as well, and show
A grand result before we go."
The snow that night was at its best,
And held its shape however pressed;
Like dough beneath the baker's hand
It seemed to answer each demand.
The rolls, when tumbled to and fro,
Increased with every turning, so
First like a cushion on they sped,
Then like a pillow, next, a bed,
Until the snow, adhering there,
Would leave the grass or pebbles bare.
As higher blocks of snow were laid
Still higher scaffolding was made,
And ladders brought to use instead
Of those too short to reach the head.
Thus grew the form from hour to hour;
For Brownies' hands have wondrous power,
And let them turn to what they will
Surprising work will follow still.
Some shaped the legs or smoothed the waist,
Some saw plump arms were rightly placed;
The head was fixed with proper pose,
Well fashioned were both ears and nose.
So close thronged Brownies high and low,
A looker-on would hardly know
What plan or shape the busy band
Of cunning Brownies had in hand.
But plan they had, and deftness too,
As well was seen when they were through.
The rounded form and manly port
Showed modeling of rarest sort,
While charcoal eyes, so well designed
They seemed to read the very mind,
Long icicles for beard and hair,
Were last affixed with taste and care.
And when the poles around the base
Had been returned each to its place,
And every ladder, bench, and board
They had in use, again was stored,
The Brownies stood around awhile
To gaze upon their work and smile.
Each points at head, or hand, or toe,
His special handiwork to show.
In truth, they had good reason there
With joy and pride to stand and stare,
And contemplate the object white
Which loomed above to such a height,
And not unlike some hero old,
For courage famed, or action bold,
With finger pointed out, as though,
To indicate the coming foe.
But morning light soon came to chase
The Brownies to their hiding-place.
And children on their way to school
Forgot their lessons and the rule
While gazing on the statue tall
That seemed to guard the County Hall.
And after drifts had left the square,
When roads and shingle-roofs were bare,
The Brownies' statue, like a tower,
Still bravely faced both wind and shower—
Though sinking slowly all the while,
And losing corpulence and style,
Till gardeners, on the first of May,
With shovels pitched the man away.
The Brownies once with capers spry
To an Academy drew nigh,
Which, founded by a generous hand,
Spread light and learning through the land.
The students, by ambition fired,
And men of science had retired;
So Brownies, through their mystic power,
Now took advantage of the hour.
A battery was soon displayed,
And strange experiments were made;
Electric currents were applied
To meadow-frogs they found inside,
Which sage professors, nights and days,
Had gathered up, in various ways.
To making pills some turned the mind,
While some to Dentistry inclined,
And aching teeth, both small and large,
Were there extracted free of charge.
More gazed where phrenologic charts
Showed heads partitioned off in parts.
Said one: "Let others knowledge gain
Through which to conquer ache and pain,
But by these charts I'll do my best
To learn where Fancy makes her nest."
Another cried, as he surveyed
The bumps that were so well arrayed:
"These heads exhibit, full and clear,
Which one to love and whom to fear;
Who is with noble thoughts inspired,
And who with hate or envy fired;
The man as timid as the hare,
The man destructive as the bear.