Posts Tagged ‘Spring Cleaning’

House Cleaning

June 6, 2012

Image from TexasEscapes – O’Quinn, Texas


[The following poetic effusion is appropriate at the present time, and will be appreciated by hosts of readers who have passed through the perils of house cleaning:]

The melancholy days have come, the saddest of the year,
Of cleaning paint, and scrubbing floors, and scouring far and near.
Heaped in the corners of the room, the ancient dirt lay quiet,
And spiders wove their web secure from fear, or din of riot,
But now the carpets are all up, and from the stair case top
The mistress calls to man and maid to wield the broom and mop.

Where are those rooms, those quiet rooms, the house but now presented,
Wherein we dwelt, nor dreamed or dirt, so cozy and cented?
Alas! they’re turned all upside down, that quiet suit of rooms,
With slops and suds, and soap and sand, and tubs and pails and brooms,
Chairs, tables, stands are standing, ’round at sixes and at sevens,
While wife and housemaids fly about like meteors in the heavens.

The parlor and the chamber floor was cleaned a week ago,
The carpets shook and windows washed, as all the neighbors know;
But still the sanctum had escaped — the table piked with books,
Pens, inks and paper all about, peace in its very looks —
Till fell the women on them all, as falls the plague on men,
And then they vanished all away — books, papers, ink and pen.

And now, when comes the master home, as come he must at nights,
To find all things are “set to wrongs” that they have “set to rights.”
When the sound of driving tacks is heard, though the house is far from still
And the carpet women are on the stairs, that harbinger of ill —
He looks for papers, books or bills, that were all there before,
And sighs to find them on the desk or in the drawer no more.

And  then he grimly thinks of her who set this fuss afloat,
And wishes she were out to sea in a very leaky boat;
He meets her at the parlor door, with hair and cap awry,
With sleeves tucked up and broom in hand, defiance in her eye,
He feels quite small and knows full well there’s nothing to be said,
So holds his tongue, and drinks his tea, and sneaks away to bed.

The Hillsdale Standard (Hillsdale, Michigan) May 8, 1866

Melancholy Days of Spring…Cleaning

March 29, 2012

Image from Vintage Homemaking

A Housecleaning Carol.

The melancholy days have came, the saddest of the year;
The carpet’s on the clothesline, and incessant whacks we hear;
The bedding’s in the kitchen, and the beds are in the hall;
The pictures are upon the floor, while someone dusts the wall;
We eat cold meat and crackers from a wobbly kitchen chair,
“Tis housecleaning time — so free from toil and care.
The neighbors line their windows and a hasty census take
Of all the bric-a-brac we have and calculations make —
If it was bought with ready cash or on installment plan;
And life is gay and careless like; it makes one want to roam —
To hie away — because the folks are cleaning house at home.
The melancholy days are here, the days of soap and dust;
Stove polish daubs the table ware; there’s pie on Wagner’s bust;
Piano holds some frying pans; the bathtub’s filled with books;
The woman folks, ah, who could tell who they were by their looks?
Sing hey! The glad housecleaning time, the time of dust and soap;
It is a gladsome sight to see — through a big telescope.

Suburbanite Economist (Chicago, Illinois) Apr 5, 1912