John S. Crow.

A poem by Clara Doty Bates

All alone in the field
Stands John S. Crow;
And a curious sight is he,
With his head of tow,
And a hat pulled low
On a face that you never see.

His clothes are ragged
And horrid and old,
The worst that ever were worn;
They're covered with mold,
And in each fold
A terrible rent is torn.

They once were new
And spick and span,
As nice as clothes could be;
For though John hardly can
Be called a man,
They were made for men you see.

That old blue coat,
With a double breast
And a brass button here and there,
Was grandfather's best,
And matches the vest--
The one Uncle Phil used to wear.

The trousers are short;
They belonged to Bob
Before he had got his growth;
But John's no snob,
And, unlike Bob,
Cuts his legs to the length of his cloth.

The boots are a mystery:
How and where
John got such a shabby lot,
Such a shocking pair,
I do declare
Though he may know, I do not.

But the hat that he wears
Is the worst of all;
I wonder that John keeps it on.
It once was tall,
But now it is small--
Like a closed accordeon.

But a steady old chap
Is John S. Crow,
And for months has stood at his post;
For corn you know
Takes time to grow,
And 'tis long between seed and roast.

And it had to be watched
And guarded with care
From the time it was put in the ground,
For over there,
And everywhere,
Sad thieves were waiting around.

Sad thieves in black,
A cowardly set,
Who waited for John to be gone,
That they might get
A chance to upset
The plans of the planter of corn.

They were no kin to John,
Though they bore his name
And belonged to the family Crow;
He'd scorn to claim
Any part of the fame
That is theirs wherever you go.

So he has stuck to the field
And watched the corn,
And been watched by the crows from the hill;
Till at length they're gone,
And so is the corn--
They away, and it to the mill.

Now the work is done,
And it's time for play,
For which John is glad I know;
For though made of hay,
If he could he would say,
"It's stupid to be a scarecrow."

But though it is stupid,
And though it is slow,
To fill such an humble position;
To be a good scarecrow
Is better I know
Than to scorn a lowly condition.

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