Robert Kirkland Kernighan Poems

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Gentle Spring

I sit with my feet in the oven,
My nose close up to the pipe ;
I 'm as jokey as any spring robin,
That 's fresh and is rather unripe.

Chickens Come Home To Roost

The world is wide and the faithful tide
Returns to the welcome sands ;
It 's often true that the work we do
Conies back to its maker's hands.

Draw Up To The Fire

Draw up to the fire, stranger ;
You can't go out on a day like this,
When the drifts are high an the blizzards hiss ;
Yer comfortabler with us, I wis

24 The Khan's Canticles

I heard a curse from a lower beast :
I heard his whip lash crack like shot :
I watched and heard till my heart was sore,
And all the blood in my veins was hot.

12 The Khans Canticles

And none but I the secret k/iew
Of where the precious ginseng grew.
One autumn, when the woods were brown,
I plowed the old-time fallow down,

Be Merciful To The Horse

Do the beasts of burden that strive and groan
And writhe and crouch 'neath the pitiless rod
Are they never allowed to make their moan
And lay their wrongs at the feet of God ?


A Library of prudent lore,
For prince or bearer of the hod ;
'Tis always an unfailing store
Of Truth such is the Word of God.

Butchin Hogs A Farm Idyl

They are choppin up the kindlin, an they're fillin up the
kettle ;
The folks hev et thur breakfusts before the break of
day :
Dad is at the grindstone a sharpenin up his metal,
And I Ve me ancient pants on we 're butchin hogs
to-day !

A Float On A Floe

For I was tired of the country,
And sick of the city's sin ;
So I sat on the wharf, and wond'ring, watched
The floe ice floating in.

A Grave In The Sunshine

His was a chance to make his grave
'Neath the storied altar high ;
But his heart was changed to a boy's again,
When they whispered that he must die.

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