Potato Bug Exterminators - Poem by James McIntyre
During the summer of 1883 we were walking along past a large field of
potatoes in North Oxford, where we beheld the strange spectacle of a
pair of bipeds drilling their offspring to march up one potato row and
down the other, so as to annihilate the enemy, who had assembled in
vast armies, dressed in yellow garments, and who were committing
fearful depredations on the fruits of the husbandmen, until the valuable
auxilliary forces rushed to the rescue of the farmer, o'erwhelming the
enemy and with one fell swoop, bringing on them consternation and
ruin dire. It appears that the foe, or their progenitors,
had been citizens of Colordo in the far West. And that,
having conquered all before them, they sought another
World to conquer here.
When we do trace out nature's laws,
And view effects, and muse on cause,
For the future there's great hope
If we our eyes do only ope.
With joy they will often glisten,
If to truth one doth but listen ;
But people often turn deaf ear
And what is useful will not hear.
Now for a minute, lend your luggs [sic],
Our theme, it is potato bugs.
Just buy a pair of young peafowl,
Their voice may be like to screech owl,
But soon as the potato shows
You there will find the peafowl goes,
Up one row and down the other
Like loving sister with brother.
And you will find that down their muggs
Have disappeared potato bugs,
Theres no more need of Paris green
For they will keep potatoes clean.
And faithful they will work all day,
For to them 'tis gay sport and play ;
No more you need their voice bewail,
But admire beauties of the tail.
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