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Short poem

Katharine Hinkson (1861-1931)

When a Little Farm I Keep

              1When a little farm I keep,
              2I shall tend my kine and sheep,
              3And my pretty lambs shall fold
              4In deep pastures starred with gold.

              5On green carpets they shall tread,
              6Gold and purple be their bed,
              7Honey clover make their food
              8In a watered solitude.

              9Garden places I shall tend,
            10For a welcome to a friend,
            11Make for him a roomy seat
            12By the box and privet sweet.

            13And my kitchen garden shall
            14Grow me fruits on tree and wall,
            15Give me blossoms in the sping
            16And an autumn gathering.

            17An old dial and a cote
            18Where the pigeons fly and float,
            19And a well so green and dim
            20Where the little fishes swim.

            21Hives of honey I shall own,
            22Bees with drowsy monotone
            23Toil all day to bring me home
            24Heather honey at the gloam.

            25Twixt the mountains and the sea
            26There my little farm will be.
            27In a heart-remembered spot
            28I shall have my happy lot.

            29In a heart-remembered place,
            30Where the mountains lift their face,
            31I shall tend my sheep and kine,
            32And a thankful heart be mine.

            33When a little farm I keep,
            34I shall sleep the happiest sleep,
            35To my simple meals invite
            36Thanksgiving and appetite.

            37In the heart-remembered place
            38I shall wear a shining face,
            39And my quiet nights be praise,
            40And a prayer my innocent days.


2] kine: cattle.

12] box: "genus (Buxus) of small evergreen trees or shrubs ... specially B. sempervirens, the Common or Evergreen Box-tree, a native of Europe and Asia; a shrub with deep-green leaves of a thick leathery texture" (OED "box," sb. 1, 1). privet: "bushy evergreen shrub, Ligustrum vulgare ... having elliptic-lanceolate smooth dark-green leaves, and clusters of small white flowers, succeeded by small shining black berries; much used for garden hedges" (OED, "Privet," sb. 1, 1).

17] cote: small cottage.

24] gloam: dusk.

Online text copyright © 2003, Ian Lancashire for the Department of English, University of Toronto.
Published by the Web Development Group, Information Technology Services, University of Toronto Libraries.

Original text: Katharine Tynan, Collected Poems (London: Macmillan, 1930): 142-43. 9720.d.402 Cambridge University Library
First publication date: 1905
Publication date note: Tynan's Innocencies: A Book of Verse (1905).
RPO poem editor: Ian Lancashire
RP edition: 2002
Recent editing: 1:2002/12/30

Form: quatrains
Rhyme: aabb

Other poems by Katharine Hinkson