The Tariff On Tin

A poem by Hanford Lennox Gordon

Monarch of Hannah's rocking-chair,
With unclipped beard and unkempt hair,
Sitting at ease by the kitchen fire,
Nor heeding the wind and the driving sleet,
Jo Lumpkin perused the Daily Liar
A leading and stanch Democratic sheet,
While Hannah, his wife, in her calico,
Sat knitting a pair of mittens for Jo.

"Hanner," he said, and he raised his eyes
And looked exceedingly grave and wise,
"The kentry's agoin, I guess, tu the dogs:
Them durned Republikins, they air hogs:
A dev'lish purty fix we air in;
They've gone un riz the teriff on tin."

"How's thet?" said Hannah, and turned her eyes
With a look of wonder and vague surprise.

"Why them confoundered Congriss chaps
Hez knocked the prices out uv our craps:
We can't sell butter ner beans no more
Tu enny furren ship er shore,
Becuz them durned Republikins
Hez gone un riz the teriff on tins."

Hannah dropped her knitting-work on her knees,
And looked very solemn and ill-at-ease:
She gazed profoundly into the fire,
Then hitched her chair a little bit nigher,
And said as she glanced at the Daily Liar
With a sad, wan look in her buttermilk eyes:
"I vum thet's a tax on punkin-pies,
Fer they know we allers bakes 'em in
Pans un platters un plates uv tin."

"I wouldn't agrumbled a bit," said Jo,
"Et a tax on sugar un salt un sich;
But I swow it's a morul political sin
Tu drive the farmer intu the ditch
With thet pesky teriff on tin.
Ef they'd a put a teriff on irn un coal
Un hides un taller un hemlock bark,
Why thet might a helped us out uv a hole
By buildin uv mills un givin uv work,
Un gladd'nin many a farmer's soul
By raisin the price of pertaters un pork:
But durn their eyes, it's a morul sin
They've gone un riz the teriff on tin.
I wouldn't wonder a bit ef Blaine
Hed diskivered a tin mine over in Maine;
Er else he hez foundered a combinashin
Tu gobble the tin uv the hull creashin.
I'll bet Jay Gould is intu the'trust,'
Un they've gone in tergether tu make er bust;
Un tu keep the British frum crowdin in
They've gone un riz the teriff on tin.
What'll we du fer pans un pails
When the cow comes in un the old uns fails?
Tu borrer a word frum Scripter, Hanner,
Un du it, tu, in pious manner,
You'll hev tu go down in yer sock fer a ducat,
Er milk old Roan in a wooden bucket:
Fer them Republikins durn their skin
Hez riz sich a turrible teriff on tin.
Tu cents a pound on British tin-plate!
Why, Hanner, you see, at thet air rate,
Accordin tu this ere newspaper-print
Un it mus be so er it wouldn't' be in't
It's a dollar un a half on one tin pan,
Un about six shillin on a coffee-can,
Un ten shillin, Hanner, on a dinner-pail!
Gol! won't it make the workin men squeal
Thet durned Republikin tax un steal!
They call it Protecshin, but blast my skin
Ef it aint a morul political sin
Thet durned Republikin teriff on tin.

"Un then they hev put a teriff on silk
Un satin un velvit un thet air ilk,
Un broadcloth un brandy un Havanny cigars,
Un them slick silk hats thet our preacher wears;
Un he'll hev tu wear humspun un drink skim milk.
Un, Hanner, you see we'll hev tu be savin,
Un whittle our store-bill down tu a shavin;
You can't go tu meetin in silks; I vum
You'll hev tu wear ging-um er stay tu hum."
But Hannah said sharply "I won't though, I swum!"
And Hannah gazed wistfully on her Jo
As he rocked himself mournfully to and fro,
And then she looked thoughtfully into the fire,
While the sleet fell faster and the wind blew higher,
And Jo took a turn at the Daily Liar.

Reader Comments

Tell us what you think of 'The Tariff On Tin' by Hanford Lennox Gordon

comments powered by Disqus

Home | Search | About this website | Contact | Privacy Policy