A Fair Warning

Let 'em come, by gum! That's all I say.
Let me see one of 'em up this way,
With their sacks a-back an' their walkin' boots
Low neck, short-panted hikin' coots
Flingin' their fags in the brambles here,
Same as that other one done last year.
He might just once; but he won't no more.
I'll nail his hide to the cow-shed door.

A mile o' fencin' and two good hust
All thro' them an' their lighted butts.
Patronisin'? You're too dead right.
These city fellers is awful bright
Three good huts an' a mile o' fence!
'Tisn't so much me own expense;
Three mile o' forest gone up in smoke!
Well, ain't it enough to nark a bloke?

The worst they done was in ninety-five.
Poor ole Ben Bray, he'd still be alive
It if wasn't for that camp-fire they left.
But a burnt-out-home an' the kids bereft
Of their dad. Yes; that was the toll that day;
An' the fellers what done it miles away.
Oh, there's fools in the forest as well as town.
I ain't lettin' none o' me neighbors down.

There's fools in the forests, as well I knows;
Chancin' a burn when the north wind blows.
An' they oughter be pinched . . . But them city skites,
Suckin' their fags an' strikin' their lights!
Just let me catch 'em! Vindictive? Me?
Ropeable, am I? Well, wouldn't you be
If you suffered the same from their smokin' butts?
Three mile o' fencin' an' four good huts!

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"A Fair Warning" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 25 May 2020. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/6136/a-fair-warning>.

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