The Front Gate

The Front Gate.

An old and crippled gate am I,
And twenty years have passed
Since I was hung up high and dry
Betwixt these posts so fast.
But now I have grown so powerful week
Despised by man and beast —
I’m scarcely strong enough to squeak,
Although I’m never greased.

‘Twas twenty years ago, I say,
When Mr. Enos White
Came kind of hanging round my way
‘Most every other night.
He hung upon my starboard side,
And she upon the other,
Till Susan Smith became his bride
And in due time a mother.

I groaned intensely when I heard —
Despite I am no churl —
My doom breathed in a single word;
The baby was a girl!
And as she grew, and grew and grew,
I louder moaned my fate;
For she was very fair to view,
And I — I was the gate!

Then, in due time a lover came,
Betokening my ruin.
A dapper fellow, Brown by name,
The grown up baby wooin’.
They sprang upon me in the gloam
And talked of moon and star.
They’re married now and live at home
Along with ma and pa.

My lot was happy for a year,
No courtin’ night or day —
I had no thought, I had no fear
Bad luck would come my way.
But oh! this morning, save the mark,
There came a wild surprise.
A shadow flitted, grim and dark,
Across my sunny skies.

A doctor, with a knowing smile,
A nurse, with face serene.
A bustle in he house, the while,
Great Scott! What can it mean?
My hinges ache, my back is weak,
My pickets in a whirl;
I hear that awful doctor speak:
It is another girl.

— Denver Tribune

The News (Frederick, Maryland) Feb 8, 1890

Image from the Gardens of a Golden Afternoon blog

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