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A Farmer Remembers Lincoln | Poem


Witter Bynner

A Farmer Remembers Lincoln

"Lincoln? --
Well, I was in the old Second Maine,
The first regiment in Washington from the Pine Tree State.
Of course I didn't get the butt of the clip;
We was there for guardin' Washington --
We was all green.

"I ain't never ben to the theayter in my life --
I didn't know how to behave.
I ain't never ben since.
I can see as plain as my hat the box where he sat in
When he was shot.
I can tell you, sir, there was a panic
When we found our President was in the shape he was in!
Never saw a soldier in the world but what liked him.

"Yes, sir. His looks was kind o' hard to forget.
He was a spare man,
An old farmer.
Everything was all right, you know,
But he wasn't a smooth-appearin' man at all --
Not in no ways;
Thin-faced, long-necked,
And a swellin' kind of a thick lip like.

"And he was a jolly old fellow -- always cheerful;
He wasn't so high but the boys could talk to him their own ways.
While I was servin' at the Hospital
He'd come in and say, 'You look nice in here,'
Praise us up, you know.

And he'd bend over and talk to the boys --
And he'd talk so good to 'em --so close --
That's why I call him a farmer.
I don't mean that everything about him wasn't all right, you understand,
It's jus -- well, I was a farmer --
And he was my neighbor, anybody's neighbor.
I guess even you young folks would 'a' liked him."

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