They passed again ungladly.
Their backs were bent, their cheeks were wan,
Their eyes were staring sadly.
Their ranks were thinned by full a score
From death's remorseless reaping
Their steps were slow, they sang no more,--
Nay, some were weeping.
Dark dream! I saw my maids today
Singing so innocently;
Their eyes with happiness were gay,
They looked at me so gently.
Thought I: Be merry in your youth
With hearts unrueing:
Thank God you do not know the truth
Of Life's Undoing!
* * *
Kathy Mobley heard the first whippoorwill that she had heard in years. Her husband came in the house to share it with her. It's been a long time since I've heard one. Years ago, we'd have them on each hill, calling back and forth. That clear, lonesome sound was a definite signal that spring was truly here. They always remind me of Daddy because he loved them so much.
It's not just sounds that remind us of spring. My great-grandson, Wade, (Miriam and Doug's son) came tearing through their kitchen the other day yelling. "Momma, come smell this smell I've been a'missin'!" His father was mowing the lawn.
Joanne Exline of Maysel wrote and asked me if I'd ever heard of the word "larp." She said her mother would tell them to stop larping around and get their work done. My brother Larry was nicknamed "Larp" when he was a kid-just a big old "larpy" boy. I found the word "larrup" in my "Whistlin' Dixie" dictionary. It was used to describe good food such as "that pie was shore larrupin'!"
She also mentioned "splattin' around" (not picking up your feet.) Mom would say, "I wish you'd quit splattin' around barefoot!" I think a lot of these words have faded into the past. I told a new friend, when she offered to deliver an item that she'd given me, "That's too much sugar for a cent!" She'd never heard that saying before. I forgot to ask her if she was a hillbilly. If she's not, she'd make a great one!
Contact Alyce Faye Bragg at alycef...@citlink.net or write to 2556 Summers Fork Road, Ovapa, WV 25164.