The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

The Wisdom of Barnyard Bruke: Jack Frost, Harvest, Close The Gate, The Spirit of Mortal, Ponderisms, Suppers A Come'n

Greetings ta ever one in western Illinois and all readers of "The Quill."

Jack Frost

I reckon many folk were somewhat unprepared for the frost we had last weekend. Many a plant that was not sheltered is done fer the season. That is an annual thing, but their beauty will be missed.


Corn harvest is go'n along nicely and soybean harvest is near'n the end fer most folk.

When I think of the end of the season for plants, as mentioned earlier, I am reminded of the loss of several neighbors this fall. The follow'n poem, CLOSE THE GATE, was utilized at one of the funerals. You might find it interest'n if'n you've never seen it before:


For this one farmer the worries are over, lie down and rest your head.

Your time has been and struggles enough, put the tractor in the shed.

Years were not easy, many downright hard, but your faith in God transcended,

Put away your tools and sleep in peace. The fences have all been mended.

You raised a fine family, worked the land well and always followed the Son,

Hang up your shovel inside of the barn; your work here on earth is done.

A faith few possess led your journey through life, often a jagged and stoney way,

The sun is setting, the cattle are all bedded, and her now is the end of your day.

Your love of God's soil has passed on to your kin; the stories flow like fine wine,

Wash off your work boots in the puddle left by blessed rain one final time.

You always believed that the good Lord would provide and He always had somehow,

Take off your gloves and put them down, no more seat and worry for you now.

Your labor is done, your home now is heaven; no more must you wait,

Your legacy lives on, your love of the land, and we will close the gate.

The Spirit of Mortal

There is another poem along this same area, written by William Knox. It was a favorite of Abraham Lincoln. He liked it so much that he could recite it from memory. It's title is "The Spirit of Mortal':

The Spirit of Mortal

Oh, why should the spirit of mortal be proud?

Like a swift-fleeting meteor, a fast-flying cloud,

A flash of the lightning, a break of the wave,

Man passeth from life to his rest in the grave.

The leaves of the oak and the willow shall fade,

Be scattered around, and together be laid;

And the young and the old, and the low and the high

Shall molder to dust and together shall lie.

The infant a mother attended and loved;

The mother that infant's affection who proved;

The husband that mother and infant who blessed,

Each, all, are away to their dwellings of rest.

The maid on whose cheek, on whose brow, in whose eye,

Shone beauty and pleasure,-her triumphs are by;

And the memory of those who loved her and praised

Are alike from the minds of the living erased.

The hand of the king that the sceptre hath borne;

The brow of the priest that the mitre hath worn;

The eye of the sage, and the heart of the brave,

Are hidden and lost in the depth of the grave.

The peasant whose lot was to sow and to reap;

The herdsmen who climbed with his goats up the steep;

The beggar who wandered in search of his bread,

Have faded away like the grass that we tread.

The saint who enjoyed the communion of heaven;

The sinner who dared to remain unforgiven;

The wise and the foolish, the guilty and just,

Have quietly mingled their bones in the dust.

So the multitude goes, like the flowers or the weed

That withers away to let others succeed;

So the multitude comes, even those we behold,

To repeat every tale that has often been told.

For we are the same our father have been;

We see the same sights our fathers have seen;

We drink the same stream, and view the same sun,

And run the same course our fathers have run.

The thoughts we are thinking our fathers would think;

From the death we are shrinking our fathers would shrink;

To the life we are clinging they also would cling;

But it speeds for us all, like a bird on the wing.

They loved, but the story we cannot unfold;

They scorned, but the heart of the haughty is cold;

They grieved, but no wail from their slumbers will come;

They joyed, but the tongue of their gladness is dumb.

They died-ah! They died; and we things that are now,

Who walk on the turf that lies over their brow.

Wo make in their dwelling a transient abode,

Meet the things that they met on their pilgrimage road.

Yes, hope and despondency, pleasure and pain,

We mingle together in sunshine and rain.

And the smiles and the tears, the song and the dirge,

Still follow each other, like surge upon surge.

'Tis the wink of an eye, 'tis the draught of a breath,

From the blossom of health to the paleness of death.

From the gilded saloon to the bier and the shroud,-

Oh, why should the spirit of mortal be proud?

By William Knox

These two poems give cause to ponder on fer a spell. Whilst on that subject of ponder'n and ponderisms here are some that might cause ya ta wonder about:


That's all fer this week's column. It'll be enterestn'n ta see how the boys address these thoughts.


Don't forget the annual Fall Harvest Supper at the Presbyterian Church, November 4 in Niota (4:30-7 p.m.)

The annual Smorgasboard, November 5, at St. Pats (11 a.m. - 1 p.m.).

The auction and lunch, November 4, 11 a.m.-12:45 p.m. at The Annex in La Harpe and the Turkey Supper, November 4, (4:30-?) at the Biggsville Presbyterian Church.

Hope'n ta see ya in church this weekend.

Remember, where ever ya are, what ever ya be a do'n "BE A GOOD ONE'!

Keep on smile'n

Count yer many blessings

Catch ya later

Barnyard Bruke